July 12, 2010

Jesus' time with Satan, Pt.1

During his forty day fast, Satan tested Jesus.  How, we know not, but Mark tells us he did.  Then, on day 41, according to Matthew, God's Adversary tried a new trick.

On day 41 it was finally the right time for Jesus to eat something, but he was still in the wilderness.  He must have been looking for food, or nibbling on something like leaves or tree bark, because the devil showed up and essentially said to him, 'Can't you do better?'

Matthew tells us this 'first' testing took place after Jesus had fasted.  So of course he was hungry, but the temptation here was not to eat food.  The devil's gambit here was to make Jesus exercise power.  If you really are the son of God, command those stones to become bread.  No one will see, and you'll fill up your stomach with better food, faster.

Jesus' response both confirmed that he intended to keep living his human life as a human and affirmed what he'd heard from the Voice at the River, about six weeks before:  Man lives by every word spoken by the Father.  Yes, Enemy, I really am God's son.  But you're going to have to deal with me as God's man.

At this point, it seems most likely the devil vanished for a while.  Shortly thereafter, Jesus found food and ate.  He must've.  He needed the energy for the long walk ahead of him, because it would take several days on foot alone to get all the way back to Nazareth.

He may have rested for a long while, too, before traveling on.

To be continued...

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