As a born-again Christian with 15 years in ministry, I have studied the life of Jesus, uncovering every event that occurred during his life. One of the interesting events in Jesus’s life was when he was tempted. Even though he was God, He was still tempted. Understanding what Satan tempted, Jesus will help us understand temptations. Most people ask me to explain what and how Satan tempted Jesus. Read on as we answer the question, what did Satan tempt Jesus with?
The Bible in the books of Matthew 4: 1-11 and Luke 4: 1- 13, implies that Satan tempted Jesus with the flesh by converting stones into food, pride through proving his divinity by jumping off the pinnacle of the temple, and power through worshiping Satan to get control of the world or Satan’s kingdom.
In this article, we will discuss various issues concerning Jesus’ temptation. We will find out where in the Bible you can read about Satan’s tempting Jesus, the number of times Satan tempted Jesus, the three temptations, and the point of Satan tempting Jesus even though he could not sin.
Where in the Bible can I read about Satan’s tempting Jesus?
In the Bible, you can read about Satan’s tempting Jesus in Matthew, chapter 4, verses 1-11, and Luke, chapter 4, verses 1-13. In the two accounts, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to pray and fast for forty days. The two accounts are similar in that they provide the same types of temptations that Jesus underwent.
Although the accounts are very similar, we note that the order of temptations in Mathew’s account is different from that of Luke’s because after Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, he then tempted him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple and finally asks him to worship him. In Luke’s account, Satan asked Jesus to worship him and then told him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple.
It is crucial to read the two accounts because each provides some details that are not in the other. For instance, Matthew notes that angels ministered to Jesus after the temptations. On the other side, Luke records that after the temptations, Satan left Jesus. Such details help you understand the story in totality.
How many times did Satan tempt Jesus?
According to Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts in the Bible, Satan tempted Jesus three times. First, he tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread: When the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Matthew 4:3. Jesus defeated Satan by saying, But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.‘” Matthew 4:4. This was the first temptation, according to Matthew and Luke.
The second time Satan was challenging Jesus to throw himself from a high place- the pinnacle of the temple so that angels could bear him in Matthew 4:5-6. Jesus defeated Satan by responding that: “It is written again, You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'” Matthew 4:7. Matthew records this as the second temptation, while Luke records it as the third.
The third and last time, Satan tempted Jesus to worship him in Matthew 4:9. Jesus responded by saying, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” Matthew 4:10.
What were the three temptations of Jesus?
The three temptations of Jesus were physical, emotional, and power or control. The physical temptation was directed toward the flesh. Its purpose was to gratify the needs of the flesh by doing what feels right or what makes the body feel better. Jesus had fasted for forty days, and he was very hungry. A temptation to turn stones into bread was the target of gratifying human desires.
The second temptation was emotional because it was about testing God’s love. It sounded logical to tempt whether God loved Jesus. The temptation was also about ego and pride. Jumping off the pinnacle would satisfy the ego because one would feel powerful.
Finally, the third temptation was about power or greed for power. It is in human nature to want power. His temptation represents the temptation to gain power and control over others, often at the expense of one’s moral values and beliefs.
If Jesus couldn’t sin, what was the point of Satan tempting him?
The point of tempting Jesus even though he could not sin was to show Jesus’ obedience to God, to identify with humanity, To demonstrate Satan’s defeat, and to show the importance of relying on God’s word.
If Jesus were never tempted, a believer would have no reference to overcoming temptation. They would not believe that Jesus understands them when they face temptations.
It is through temptations that Jesus identified humanity. Jesus needed to identify as human so believers could be sure they could overcome temptations.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.