[Updated post below.]
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4But 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.'”
5Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘ In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” 7Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'”
8Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” 11Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. — NKJV
Per Og’s request: discuss in the comments. I look forward to joining you later today.
Spell-bound. There's a hint.
[Updated with my own thoughts here:]
This passage always puts me in mind of the T.V. show, Bewitched. We have come light years from such innocent playing with fire, and I fear we’ve gotten burned on the way. But what stood out to me then, and now, was that Darrin did not want her to use her powers to gain an unfair advantage in life’s quotidian trials. How that made my young little mind think at night: how cool would it be to just wiggle one’s nose and have everything go your way? Why is Darrin being so insistent that Samantha not use her powers, even for good? I wonder if the show’s writers were even aware of the effect their ploy was working on young minds seeking moral guidance, but mine was such an one.
It seemed right, however. It was a given, back in those days. No need to draw any comparisons with our current celebration of the concupiscent except to say, good thing Darrin wasn’t a Union thug.
The third temptation seems the easiest to process: Jesus knew who His father was, and he knew what He came to earth to do. Had He forgotten his heavenly realm after 30 years on earth? Does His answer suffice for you when you are tempted with earthly riches? The Tempter may as well have assured me of a tenured position at a university. There’s more to it than that, but it’s like winning the lottery: kinda hard to imagine those sort of riches.
The second temptation is about faith and ego and what we would consider to be invisible agents of heaven. We are told that angels came and ministered to Jesus afterward– was that their first manifestation in His earthly walk? Was he being tempted to show off, as some suggest, or was it more an aspect of making Him guess His calling and anointing; more of a point of forcing Jesus to prove His relationship with the Father? A tougher trial it would seem to us.
The first is the Bewitched temptation: no harm, no foul, no one has to know, it’s a human need, after all and the fast was over. Why not just waggle the finger and say a few words and be done with it? Apart from Jesus’ answer, what would have been the moral wrong in doing for Himself what he freely and gladly did for the multitude?