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.””
One of the remarkable things about this temptation is that Jesus allowed Himself to be taken by satan to the parapet of the temple. He willingly went with the devil into a situation where He knew that He was to be tested.
Jesus would have been aware of what were the intentions of the devil.
However, such awareness would have prepared Him for the testing that was to come.
For we are very familiar with his evil schemes – 2 Corinthians 2.11 (NLT).
Paul was writing within the context of our need to exercise forgiveness. He knew that one of the schemes of satan is to prevent us from forgiving others. We all get tested in this area. We know that this is going to happen to us, we know that satan will tempt us not to forgive others, and for us to hold a grudge against others.
Since we know that this is one of his evil schemes we should be ready to resist him and freely forgive as Jesus has forgiven us.
Jesus did not walk with satan unaware of what He was to be tested about. He fully knew the evil scheme of the devil.
The more we grow in Jesus, and the older we get, the greater should be our awareness that there will be times when we are taken into situations that will result in us being tested by the devil.
In the Old Testament it happened to Joseph as his brothers thought about killing him, but instead sold him as a slave. Eventually, through being imprisoned and his God given ability to interpret dreams he was exalted to the highest position in Egypt.
We know that the time came when a severe famine brought his brothers to Egypt for food and they met Joseph, although they didn’t know him.
The testing of Joseph could have led him to pay back his brothers for the way they had treated him, instead he said:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people – Genesis 50.20 (NLT).
The times of testing and temptation that the devil leads us into are opportunities for us to repel him with the word of God.