by Henry T. Vriesen
Matthew 3:4; Mark 1; Luke 4
Many people came to hear the great preacher in the wilderness of Judea and to be baptized of him in the river Jordan. One day even Jesus came to the place where John the Baptist was baptizing and presented himself for baptism. “But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” So his request was granted. Jesus came up out of the water, “And, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Shortly after his baptism, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. Being the promised Savior, he must needs be like unto us, and be tempted in all points as we are. Satan, the tempter, knew about God’s plan to save people from their sin through his Son. He tried to spoil God’s plan of salvation. Forty days and forty nights Jesus remained in the wilderness, without eating and drinking. After that the tempter came and, pointing to some stones, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Satan saw that he could not cause Jesus to yield to this temptation, so he tried another. He took Jesus to the holy city and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” The devil can quote the scriptures: in this quotation he omitted a very important part of the passage. Jesus knew the scriptures. He answered the tempter, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Satan tried for the third time. He took Jesus up into an exceeding high mountain, from which he showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, saying, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Satan tried to persuade Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom, which would have pleased the crowds of the people. But Jesus did not yield, he replied, “Get thee hence, Satan! for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaving him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”For further information on this resource, click here.