Satan Tempts Jesus
We hear it all the time: “I was really tempted to eat that piece of cake.” This, we all understand to mean I really wanted to eat it. This is actually an incorrect use of the word “tempt.” Tempt is a verb committed by a tempter. To tempt means to entice, and tempted is simply the past tense of tempt. In the example above, the icing is doing the enticing and I am being acted upon.
It’s important to understand that Jesus was not tempted to sin – as in wanting to sin but just holding back the urge. James 1:13 tells us, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone” (NIV). We have become so accustomed to the phrase “the temptation of Christ” that we liken it to our own feelings of temptation (our inward desire to sin). Jesus does not have a sin nature as we do. Christ’s temptation was not an inward longing, but an outward exposure to Satan’s ploys. Satan was engaged in the act of tempting. We can liken the phrase “Jesus was tempted” to the phrase “Jesus was beaten.” Someone else was perpetrating the action upon Him.
Jesus didn’t just muster up more willpower than the average man. He was completely different. Adam’s sons resembled Adam (Genesis 5:3); Jesus did not. Jesus always saw through kingdom eyes (Mark 8:33). The significance of the temptations being offered to Christ, and His refusal to partake, is that Jesus remained sinless and therefore remained the perfect sacrifice, able to accept the sin of mankind on the cross.
This passage warns us of just how crafty Satan is. He tempts when we’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Satan also tempts when we’ve just had a wonderful, spiritual event in our lives. Satan tried to tempt Jesus right after He was baptized. But more important than how clever Satan is, kids will learn how mighty God’s word is! Jesus used the living, active word of God to counter Satan’s lies (Hebrews 4:12). Kids will be empowered as they watch Jesus live out James 4:7, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
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Satan Tries to Tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13)