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Go Ahead, Jump!

If you had been in Jerusalem that day, you might have by chance looked up and seen two individuals high atop the massive Temple. You could perhaps have wondered to yourself, "What are those two doing up there? Maybe, it's just a couple of the Temple Levites doing a little maintenance work."

Temptation Of Christ But it wasn't someone doing maintenance work. It was Jesus Christ and Satan!

Jesus had been fasting and praying for many days out in the desert. Just at His very weakest moment, That Old Serpent made his move. Satan thought that if he could just get the Savior to slip up some way, that he could somehow upset His mission. Jesus allowed and went along with it. It was a necessary part of His living a sinless life in the face of temptation. After failing to tempt (through physical appetite) a nearly-starved Jesus with food while still out in the desert, the devil took Him to Jerusalem where they went to the very highest point of the Temple. He then tried it again - this time by having the absolute insolence to read Scripture, part of Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus Christ!

"If you are the son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command His Angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone,' " (Matthew 4:6 NIV)

Can you imagine a more outrageous scene than Satan reading Scripture to Jesus Christ? It's so ridiculous that it's almost funny!

Satan was trying to goad Jesus (through human pride) by in effect saying, "I don't believe that you are the son of God. Prove it to me. Go ahead, jump!"

Jesus replied, "It is also written: 'Do not put The Lord your God to the test." (Matthew 4:7, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16).

After Satan failed a third time to tempt Jesus (this time using human greed) by offering to give Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world (note that he had the kingdoms on this earth to give - see The Lame Duck ) if He would just bow down and worship the devil, the struggle was over. Satan slinked away, and angels came and attended to Jesus.

Satan used his "big three" temptations in that great contest - physical appetites, pride and greed - and he failed. Completely.

There was a lot at stake that day, and your Savior won. So did you.

Fact Finder: How many days and nights had Jesus been fasting before this confrontation with Satan?
(a) 3 (b) 7 (c) 12 (d) 40
Matthew 4:1-2

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