Matthew 4.5-7 cont.
5 Then the devil, taking Him into the holy city, stood Him on the parapet of the temple.
6 He said (says) to Him: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it has been written that He will command His angels about You that on their hands they will hold You up, in case You should strike Your foot against a stone.”
7 Jesus said to him: “Again it has been written: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.””
The human spirit appears to have an insatiable desire to see and experience the sensational. Later in His ministry Jesus said:
29 …. “This generation is an evil generation. It looks for a sign, but it will not be given a sign, except the sign of Jonah (dove)” – Luke 11.29.
Jesus is quite clear about the desire for seeking signs and wonders, and that it is a desire that is rooted in evil.
Satan was tempting Jesus to go for the sensational by throwing Himself off the parapet of the temple.
W Barclay states that this parapet was 450 feet above the Kidron Valley. It would certainly have been a sensational spectacle to have thrown Himself from this parapet and to have survived unharmed.
For a short time it would have drawn people to Him. However, it would have been to put His Heavenly Father to the test, it would have been as though Jesus was demanding that His Father prove His love for Him by rescuing Him from His giving in to the devils temptation.
In regard to the sensational there was a certain Egyptian, who is mentioned in Acts 21.38:
“Aren’t you the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took four thousand members of the Assassins out into the desert?” – (NLT).
This Egyptian gathered around him a band of 30,000 men and set out to destroy Jerusalem. He claimed that at his word the walls of Jerusalem would fall down and they would have easy access. These men followed him, because he promised the sensational, but it came to nothing.
A false prophet called Theudas persuaded many to follow him to the river Jordan, and that by his word he would split in two the waters of the river. It was the promise of the sensational that deceived men to follow him. He was also defeated by the Romans. He was captured and beheaded.
If we seek the signs and wonders for their own sake, we put God to the test; faith is misplaced; and there is no eternal benefit for our souls.
However, if we seek Jesus our faith is built up in Him, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.