PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness.

a MATT. 4:1-11; b MARK 1:12-13; c LUKE 4:1-13.

      c 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan,   b 12 And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth c and   a 1 Then [Just after his baptism, with the glow of the descended Spirit still upon him, and the commending voice of the Father still ringing in his ears, Jesus is rushed into the suffering of temptation. Thus abrupt and violent are the changes of life. The spiritually exalted may expect these sharp contrasts. After being in the third heaven, Paul had a messenger of Satan to buffet him-- 2 Corinthians 12:7 ] was Jesus led up [The two expressions "driveth" and "led up" show that Jesus was drawn to the wilderness by an irresistible impulse, and did not go hither of his own volition ( 40:2 ). He was brought into temptation, but did not seek it. He was led of God into temptation, but was not may bring us into temptation ( Matthew 6:13 ; 26:41 ; Job 1:12 ; 2:6 ), and may make temptation a blessing unto us, tempering it to our strength, and making us stronger by the victory over it ( 1 Corinthians 10:13 ; James 1:2 James 1:12 ), but God himself never tempts us-- James 1:13 ] of the Spirit into the wilderness [The wilderness sets in back of Jericho and extends thence along the whole western shore of the Dead Sea. The northern end of this region is in full view from the Jordan as one looks westward, and a more desolate and forbidding landscape it would be hard to find. It is vain to locate the temptation in any particular part of it. Jesus may have wandered about over nearly all of it] to be tempted of the devil [As a second David, Jesus went forth to meet that Goliath who had so long vaunted himself against all who sought to serve God, and had as yet found none to vanquish him. The account of the temptation must have been given to the disciples by Jesus himself, and as it pleased him to give it to us as an actual history of real facts, it behooves us to accept it without being presumptuously inquisitive. Of course, it has supernatural features, but the supernatural confronts us all through the life of Jesus, so there is nothing strange about it here. Jesus had taken upon him our flesh, and hence he could be tempted, with a possibility of falling. But his divinity insured his victory over temptation. He became like us in ability to fall, that he might make us like unto himself in power to resist. It behooved him to be tempted, and thus sharing our nature with its weakness and temptation he might bring us to share his nature with its strength and sinlessness ( Hebrews 2:17 Hebrews 2:18 ; Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:16 ). Sinlessness does not preclude temptation, else Adam could not have been tempted, nor could Satan himself have fallen. Moreover, temptation is in so sense sin. It is the yielding of the will to temptation which constitutes sin. The spiritual history of humanity revolves around two persons; namely, the first and the second Adam. The temptation of Christ was as real as that of Adam. He had taken upon himself our temptable nature ( Philippians 2:7 Philippians 2:8 ), and he was tempted not as a private soldier, but as the second Adam, our salvation ( Hebrews 2:10-18 ). The failure of the first Adam brought sorrow, darkness and death; the success of the second Adam brought joy, light and immortality. One of the tenets of modern infidelity is the denial of the personality of the devil. It is asserted that the idea of a devil was not known to the early Hebrews, but was borrow from Persian dualism. The Persians held that there were two contending deities--a good one and a bad one; and the Hebrews, according to these critics, learned this doctrine from the Persians during the days of their Babylonian captivity, and modified it so that the god of evil became the devil. But such a theory is based upon the absurd notion that all the books of the Old Testament were written after the return of the Jews from Babylon. Their theory requires this notion, for the books of Genesis and Job, which were written centuries before the captivity, both show a knowledge of this being, and the first connects him and his work with the very beginning of human history. Those who believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures must also believe in the personality of the devil, for they plainly teach it. The devil is a fallen angel ( Jude 1:6 ; 2 Peter 2:4 ). This doctrine need startle no one, for as there are good and bad spirits in the body, so there are good and bad spirits out of the body. Since God permits sinful spirits in the body, why should he not also permit them out of the body? If there can be a Herod, a Nero, a Judas, among men, why may there not be a Satan among evil spirits? Being but an angel, Satan is neither omnipresent, omniscient nor omnipotent. He is only a tolerated rebel, as we are tolerated rebels. He was the first sinner ( 1 John 3:8 ), and was the originator of sin ( John 8:44 ). He is the perpetual tempter of mankind ( Revelation 20:2 Revelation 20:8 ), but he shall be conquered by the Redeemer ( John 12:31 ; Revelation 12:9 ), and may be conquered by us also through the grace of Christ ( 1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:9 ; James 4:7 ); but is, nevertheless, dangerous ( Revelation 2:10 ; 3:9 ). Jesus, therefore, teaches us to pray for deliverance from him ( Matthew 6:13 , R.V.). Jesus will destroy the works of Satan ( 1 John 3:8 ), ( Revelation 20:10 ). There is but one devil in the spirit world. The word which our King James Version translates "devils" should be translated "demons." The word "devil" means false accuser or slanderer, and the word in the plural is twice applied, metaphorically, to men and women ( 2 Timothy 3:3 ; 1 Timothy 3:11 ). The devil is called slanderer because he speaks against men ( Revelation 12:10-12 ) and against God ( Genesis 3:1-5 ). The word "devil" is Greek. The word "Satan" is Hebrew, and means adversary ( Job 2:1 ). Satan is referred to under many other terms, such as Beelzebub ( Matthew 12:24 ); serpent ( Revelation 12:9 ); prince of the powers of the air ( Ephesians 2:2 ); Abaddon (Hebrew) and Apollyon (Greek), meaning destroyer ( Revelation 9:11 ); Belial, meaning good for nothing ( 2 Corinthians 6:15 ); murderer and liar ( John 8:44 ); prince of this world ( John 12:31 ); god of this world ( 2 Corinthians 4:4 ); and the dragon ( Revelation 12:7 ). These terms are always used in the Bible to designate an actual person; they are never used merely to personify evil. The devil may have appeared to Jesus in bodily form, or he may have come insensibly as he does to us. Our Lord's temptation makes the personality of the tempter essential, else Christ's own heart must have suggested evil to him, which is incompatible with his perfect holiness.]

  b 13 And he was c led in the Spirit [that is, under the power of the Spirit] in the wilderness [Isolation from humanity is no security from temptation. In fact, our present passage of Scripture shows that it is highly favorable to temptation. The experience of all hermits shows that loneliness is the mother of a multitude of evil desires]

  2 during forty days [Matthew speaks of the temptation as coming "after" forty days. Evidently Mark and Luke regard the long fast as part of the process of temptation, seeing that without it the first temptation would have been without force. There is no evidence of any other specific temptations before the three], being tempted of b Satan; c the devil, b and he was with the wild beasts [A graphic touch, showing the dreariness and desolation of the wolves, leopards and serpents have been found in the Judæan wilderness]; c And he did eat nothing [It used to be thought that a forty days' absolute fast was a practical impossibility, and Luke's words were therefore modified to mean that he ate very little. But as a forty days' fast has been safely accomplished in modern times, and as it was Jesus who fasted, we see no reason why we should not take Luke's statement literally, as indicating an absolute fast] in those days: and when they were completed.

  a 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights

[A forty days' fast was accomplished by Moses ( Exodus 34:28 ; Deuteronomy 9:18 ), and by Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:8 ), and it is a significant fact in this connection that these two men appeared with Christ at his transfiguration ( Matthew 17:3 ). Those who share Christ's sufferings shall also share his glorification ( Romans 8:17 ; 2 Timothy 2:11 2 Timothy 2:12 ). The forty days' fast became a basis for the temptation. We are told that temptation results from the excitement of desire ( James 1:14 ), and, as a rule, the greater the desire the greater the temptation. Viewed from this standpoint the temptation of the second Adam greatly exceeded in strength that of the first, for Adam abstained as to a particular fruit, but Christ fasted as to all things edible], he afterward hungered. [Here, for the first time, our Lord is shown as sharing our physical needs. We should note for our comfort that one may lack bread and suffer want, and still be infinitely beloved in heaven.]

  3 And the tempter came [Satan is pre-eminently the tempter, for other tempters are his agents. He may possibly have appeared as an angel of light ( 2 Corinthians 11:14 ), but the purpose of his coming is more important than the manner of it. He came to produce sin in Jesus, for sin would render him forever incapable of becoming our Saviour--a sacrifice for the sins of others]

  c 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it {a command that these stones} become bread. [The devil's "if" strikes at the faith of Christ, and faith is the bond of union and accord between man and God. The main sin of this it had other sinful phases. The Father's voice had just declared the Sonship of Jesus, and Satan here boldly questions the truth of God's words, just as he did in the beginning ( Genesis 3:3-5 ). The temptation smacks of curiosity, and curiosity is the mother of many sins. Though Satan so glibly questioned the divinity of Christ, his kingdom soon began to feel the power of that divinity ( Luke 4:34-41 ), and shall continue to feel it until his kingdom is destroyed ( Hebrews 2:14 ; 1 John 3:8 ). This temptation appealed to the present appetite, the impulse of the moment, as many of our temptations do. It has been quaintly said of the tempter that "he had sped so successfully to his own mind by a temptation about a matter of eating with the first Adam, that he practiced the old manner of trading with the second." This first temptation is still Satan's favorite with the poor. He suggests to them that if they were really the beloved objects of God's care, their condition would be otherwise. We should note that Jesus wrought no selfish miracle. Such an act would have been contrary to all Scripture precedent. Paul did not heal himself ( 1 Corinthians 12:7-9 ; Galatians 4:13 ; Colossians 4:14 ), nor Epaphroditus, ( Philippians 2:25-27 ), nor Trophimus ( 2 Timothy 4:20 ). Denying himself the right to make bread in the wilderness, Christ freely used his miraculous power to feed others in the desert ( Matthew 14:15-21 ), and merited as just praise those words which were meant as a bitter taunt-- Matthew 27:42 .]

  4 But he {c 4 And Jesus} a answered and said, c unto him, It is written [Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 . It is a saying relative to the times when Israel was sustained by manna in the wilderness. The case of Jesus was now similar to that of Israel. He was in a foodless wilderness, but he trusted that as God had provided for Israel in its helplessness, so would he now provide for him. Israel sinned by doubt and murmuring, and proposing to obtain bread in its own way--that is, by returning to Egypt ( Exodus 16:1-9 ). Jesus avoided a like sin. We should note the use which our Lord made of Scripture: in his hour of trial he did not look to visions and voices and special revelation for guidance, for his feet ( Psalms 119:105 ); in the conflict of temptation he did not defend himself by his own divine wisdom, but used that wisdom which God had revealed to all Israel through his prophets. Jesus fought as a man ( Philippians 2:6 Philippians 2:7 ), and used that weapon which, as God, he had given to man ( Ephesians 6:17 ). Jesus used the Scripture as of final, argument-ending authority. Eve also started with "God hath said" ( Genesis 3:3 ); but she was not constant in her adherence to God's word. Jesus permitted Satan neither to question nor pervert the Scripture], Man [In using the word "man" Jesus takes his stand with us as a human being] shall not live by bread alone [Called out of Egypt as God's Son ( Matthew 2:15 ), Jesus could well expect that he would be fed with manna after his forty days' fast. He trusted that God could furnish a table in the wilderness ( Psalms 78:19 ). We, too, have abundant reason for a like trust. God gave us our lives, and gave his Son to redeem them from sin. He may let us suffer, but we can not perish is we trust him. Let us live by his word rather than by bread. It is better to die for righteousness than to live by sin. God fed Israel with supernatural bread, to show the people that they lived thus, and not by what they were pleased to call natural means. The stomach is a useful agent, but it is not the source of life, nor even the life sustainer. Those who think that the securing of bread is the first essential to the sustaining of life, will fail to seek any diviner food, and so will eventually starve with hunger--soul hunger.] a but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God [To satisfy our sense of duty is often more pleasant than to appease the pangs of hunger ( John 4:32-34 ; Job 23:12 ; Jeremiah 15:16 ). The trust of Jesus that God would speak in his behalf and save him, was like that of Job ( Job 13:15 ). God can sustain our lives without food if he chooses. We shall live if God wills it, bread or no bread; and we shall likewise die at his word ( Matthew 6:25 ; John 6:47-58 ; Acts 17:28 ). God can support our lives independent of our body-- Matthew 10:28 .]

  5 Then the devil taketh him [Matthew emphasizes the compulsory companionship of Satan. Jesus was in the hands of Satan as was Job ( Job 2:5 Job 2:6 ); but in Jesus' case Satan had the power of life and death, and he eventually took Jesus to the cross and slew him there] into the holy city [A common name for Jerusalem. The inscription on Jewish coins was "Jerusalem the Holy." Arabs to-day call it "el Kuds," "the Holy." The Holy City did not exclude the tempter nor temptations. The church may be the scene of man's sorest trial to resist wrong. But in the Holy City which is to come there will be no temptation];

  c 9 And he led him to Jerusalem, a and set him [The two verbs "taketh" and "setting" imply that Satan exercised a control over the bodily person of our Lord] on the pinnacle of the temple [It is not known exactly what spot is indicated by the word "pinnacle." Hence three places have been contended for the proper locality: 1. The apex of the temple structure itself. 2. The top of Solomon's porch. 3. The top of Herod's royal portico. As to the temple itself, Josephus tells us that its roof was covered with spikes of gold, to prevent even birds from alighting upon it, and, if so, men could not stand upon it. Solomon's porch, or the eastern portico, faced the Mount of Olives, and has been fixed upon by tradition as the place from which James, the Lord's brother, was hurled. The royal portico of Herod was at the southeast corner of the temple enclosure, and overlooked the valley of Kidron. Here was then, and is yet, the greatest height about the temple, and it was, therefore, the most suitable place for Satan's proposal],

  6 and saith {c said} a unto him, If [Godly life rests on faith. The life the devil would have us lead rests on ifs and uncertainties, on doubt and skepticism. We should note that foolish men doubt the divinity of Jesus, but the temptations of our Lord show how positively Satan was convinced of it. The opening scenes of Christ's ministry are redolent with his divinity. The Baptist asserted his purity and might, the Spirit visibly acknowledged his worthiness, the Father audibly testified to his Sonship, and the devil twice assaulted him as the divine champion] [The first temptation was to under-confidence; the second to over-trust and presumption--two very dangerous conditions of the soul. Men begin by disparagingly doubting that Jesus can save them from their sins, and end by recklessly presuming that he will save them in their sins. Comparing this with Eve's temptation, we find that she was vainly curious to see if she might be like God ( Genesis 3:5 ), but Christ resisted such curiously. It is urged by some as to this temptation that there is no hint of vainglory or display, because nothing is said about casting himself down in the presence of the people, and that Jesus was merely taken to the temple because the sacred locality would tend to heighten his trust in the protecting promise which Satan quoted. But this ground is not well taken, for 1. The temple presumes a crowd. 2. We have a right to presume that this temptation would be like others to which Jesus was subjected. He was frequently invited to work miracles to satisfy curiosity, and he invariably refused to do so]: c from hence:

  10 for it is written

[This quotation is taken from Psalms 91:11 Psalms 91:12 , and applies to man generally. Note 1. The devil's head is full of Scripture, but to no profit, for his heart is empty of it. 2. By quoting it he shows a sense of its power which modern rationalism would do well to consider. 3. Satan's abuse of Scripture did not discourage Christ's use of it], He shall give his angels charge concerning thee [Regarding Satan's words as a quotation, we are struck with the fact that his knowledge of this particular passage was based upon his personal experience. He had been confronted by the presence of the guardian angels and had fretted at it ( Job 1:10 ; 2 Kings 6:8 2 Kings 6:17 ; Psalms 34:7 ; Jude 1:9 ). As a temptation, Satan's words appeal to Jesus to be more religious; to put more trust and reliance upon the promises of the Father; and he puts him in the place--the temple--where he might argue that God could least afford to let his promise fail], to guard thee:

  11 and, On their hands they shall bear thee up

[All who love pomp, display of artistic taste, gaieties of fashion, intoxication of fame, etc., fall by this temptation. Those who truly foundation, but those who rise on bubbles must come down when they burst], Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone.

  12 And Jesus answering, said unto him,

a again it is written {c said,}

["Written," "said"; the writings of Scripture are in general the sayings of God. But the Bible is not made up of isolated texts. To get a right understanding we must compare Scripture with Scripture. We could have no higher indorsement of the Old Testament than this use of it by Christ. It was sufficient for him in his temptations, and with the addition of the New Testament, it is sufficient for us in all things-- 2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:17 ; Colossians 3:3-16 ], a Thou shalt not make trial [Make experiment upon God, set traps for him, put one's self in dangerous situations, hoping thereby to draw forth some show of loving deliverance. Had Jesus cast himself down, he would have demanded of the Father a needless miracle to prove his Sonship, and would thereby have put the love of God to an unnecessary trial. All who jeopardize themselves without any command of God or call of duty, make trial of his love] of the Lord thy God.

  8 Again, the devil taketh him

[whether naturally or supernaturally, "whether in the body or out of the body" ( 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 ), we can not tell. But it was a real, practical trial and temptation] unto an exceeding high mountain [it is immaterial which mountain this was; for from no mountain could one see the whole earth with the natural eye],

  c 5 And he led him up, a And showeth {c showed} a him [It is not said by either evangelist that Jesus saw the kingdoms from the mountain-top, but that Satan showed them to him. From any high Judæan mountain it would be easy for him to locate Rome, Greece, Egypt, Persia and Assyria, and as he pointed out their locality a few brief words of description would picture them to the imagination of Jesus, and cause their glories to move before his eyes. But it is very likely that to this description some sort of supernatural vision was added. It tempted the eye of Jesus as the luscious fruit did the eye of Eve-- Genesis 3:6 ] all the kingdoms of the world [It tempted Jesus to realize the dreams which the Jewish nation entertained. It was an appeal to him to reveal himself in the fullness of his power and authority as above generals, princes, kings, and all beings of all ages. An appeal to obtain by physical rather than by spiritual power; by the short-cut path of policy rather than by the long road of suffering and martyrdom. Jesus came to obtain the kingdoms of the world. He was born King of the Jews, and confessed himself to be a King before Pilate. All authority is now given to him, and he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet, and until all the kingdoms of the world become his kingdom. Satan's way to obtain this kingdom differed from God's way. He might obtain it by doing Satan's will and becoming his worshiper, or by worshiping God and doing his will. Satan would give the speedier possession, but God the more lasting. We also strive for a kingdom; but let us obtain ours as Christ did his], and the glory of them [That is, all their resources as well as their magnificence. Their cities, lands and people, their armies, treasures and temples, etc. Many parents, in encouraging their children to seek earthly glory and distinction, unconsciously assist Satan in urging this temptation]; c in a moment of time [These words strongly indicate that the prospect must have been supernaturally presented. The suddenness of the vision added greatly to the power of the temptation];

  a 9 and he c the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority {a All these things will I give thee,} [From the standpoint of Christ's humanity, how overwhelming the temptation! It was the world's honors to one who had for thirty years led the life of a village carpenter; it was the world's riches to him who had not where to lay his head. From the standpoint of Jesus' divinity the temptation was repulsive. It was a large offer in the sight of Satan, but a small one in the sight of him who made all the worlds. Such offers are large to the children of the world, but small to those who are by faith joint-heirs with Christ ( Romans 8:17 ; Philippians 3:7 Philippians 3:8 ). But the temptation was, nevertheless, very specious and plausible. The power of Jesus linked operating through Jewish fanaticism and pagan expectation would, in a few months, have brought the whole earth into one temporal kingdom, with Jesus as its head. But the kingdom of Christ rested upon a surer promise ( Psalms 2:8 ) than that here given by the "father of lies." God had promised, and, despite the pretensions of Satan, God had not yet retired from the government of the world. It was true that Satan and his emissaries had, by usurpation, gained an apparent possession of the world, but Jesus had right to it as the heir of God ( Matthew 21:33-43 ). Being stronger than Satan, he had come to regain his kingdom, not by treaty, but by conquest ( Luke 11:19-22 ). Moreover, he would obtain it as a spiritual and not as a carnal kingdom. Servants of Christ should remember this. Every attempt to establish Messiah's kingdom as an outward, worldly dominion is an effort to convert the kingdom of heaven into the kingdom of the devil. God's kingdom can not be secularized. It should be noted also that Satan omits the words "if thou art the Son of God" in this instance, for their presence would have marred the force of the temptation. Note also that this was the only temptation wherein Satan evinced any show of generosity. He is slow to give anything, and most of us sell out to him for nothing-- Isaiah 52:3 ], and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me [Satan does not claim an absolute but a derivative right, and his claim is not wholly unfounded ( John 12:31 ; 14:30 ; 16:11 ). But the kingdom has been delivered unto him by men rather than by God ( Ephesians 2:2 ). How much more quickly Jesus would have obtained power, had he received it from men by consenting to co-operate with them in their sinful practices as does Satan]; and to whomsoever I will [Not so Jesus. His giving is according to the Father's will-- Matthew 9:23 ] I give it [The Emperor Tiberius then held it in the fullest sense ambition ever realized. Yet he was the most miserable and degraded of men. Satan knows how to take full toll for all that he gives.]

  7 If [In the temptations Satan uses three "ifs." The first "if" is one of despairing doubt; the second, one of vainglorious speculation; the spiritual compromise] thou therefore wilt a fall down and worship c before me [Satan and God each seek the worship of man, but from very different motives. God is holiness and goodness, and we are invited to worship him that we may thereby be induced to grow like him. But Satan seeks worship for vanity's sake. How vast the vanity which would give so great a reward for one act of worship! Verily the devil is fond of it. He gives nothing unless he obtains it, and all his generosity is selfishness. Worshiping before Satan is the bending of the soul rather than of the body. He holds before each of us some crown of success, and says: "Bend just a little; slightly compromise your conscience. Accept the help of Pharisee and Sadducee, and keep silent as to their sins. Mix a little diplomacy with your righteousness. Stoop just a little. If you do, I will aid you and insure your success. If you do not, I will defeat you and laugh at your failures." It is Satan's sin to make such suggestions, but it is not our sin until we comply with them. We may more quickly obtain by his wrong way, but more surely by God's right way. Let no Christian be humiliated or discouraged by gross temptation, since even the Son of God was tempted to worship the devil. What Jesus would not do, the Beast has done, and has received the kingdoms for a season ( Revelation 13:1-9 ). Note, too, that it is all one whether we worship Satan, or mammon, the gift which he offers-- Matthew 6:24 ], it shall all be thine.

  8 And

  a 10 Then c Jesus answered and said {a saith} c unto him, a Get thee hence

[The passionate utterance of an aroused soul. Indignation is as divine as patience ( Ephesians 4:26 ). Satan's sweetest temptation was most disgusting to Christ, for its sin was so grossly apparent. It ran counter to the very first of the ten commandments. Jesus would give it no room in his thoughts; he spurned it, as being as heinous as the law describes it ( Deuteronomy 5:6-11 ). Temptation must be peremptorily rejected. Jesus did not stop to weigh the worthiness of Satan; it was sufficient that God only is to be worshiped. As God, Jesus was himself an object of worship; but as man sought to command Jesus, but was commanded of him. Step by step Satan has obeyed this command, and foot after foot, earth's spiritual world has been yielded by his departing presence], Satan [The first and second temptations were so subtle and covert, and their sin so skillfully disguised, as to suggest that Satan himself was disguised. If so, his pride and vanity, revealed in this last temptation, betrayed him so that Jesus tore off his mask and called him by his right name. When he tempted him in a somewhat similar matter, Jesus called Simon Peter by this name ( Matthew 16:23 ), but he laid a different command upon each of them. To Satan he spoke as an enemy, saying, "Get thee hence." He ordered Satan from his presence, for he had no proper place there. To Peter he spoke as to a presumptuous disciple, saying, "Get thee behind me." The disciple is a follower of his master, and his proper place is in the rear]: for it is written [Jesus gives a free translation of Deuteronomy 6:13 . He substitutes the word "worship" for the word "fears." Fear prohibits false and induces true worship, and loving worship is the source of all acceptable service. The three Scripture quotations used by Jesus are all from the book of Deuteronomy. He struck Satan with that very part of the Spirit's sword which modern critical infidelity, in the name of religion, and often aided by so-called religious organizations, seeks to persuade us to cast away], Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [By serving God, Jesus obtained all the earthly authority which the devil offered him, and heavenly authority in addition thereto ( Matthew 28:18 ). So much better are the rewards of God than Satan's.]

  c 13 And when the devil had completed every temptation.

  a 11 Then the devil leaveth {c he departeth from} him for a season.

[See James 4:7 . But Satan left to return many times. Here was the first being endowed with human nature who had defeated Satan under all circumstances for thirty years. This was Satan's first defeat under Christ's ministry. His last is yet to come, and it shall come by this same Christ. Temptations are battles. They leave the vanquished weaker. Hence Satan when resisted is represented as fleeing. But he only flees for a season. He never despairs of the conflict so long as man is on the earth. Christ was constantly tempted by the returning devil ( Luke 22:28 ). As Jesus hung upon the cross, all these three temptations with their accompanying "ifs" were spread out before him-- Matthew 27:39-43 ] a and behold, angels came [They had probably witnessed the contest. Compare 1 Corinthians 4:9 ; 1 Timothy 3:16 . Angels do not appear again visibly ministering unto Jesus until we find him in Gethsemane ( Luke 22:43 ). When Satan finally departs from us, we, too, shall find ourselves in the presence of angels-- Luke 16:22 ] and ministered unto him. [Jesus was probably fed by the angels, as was Elijah by one of them ( 1 Kings 19:4-7 ). Satan and suffering first, then angels, refreshment and rest. God had indeed given his angels charge, and they came to him who refused to put the father to the test. But they did not succor Jesus during his temptation, for that was to be resisted by himself alone-- Isaiah 63:3 .]

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