THE FIRST TEMPTATION
The evil archangel approached a hungry, starving man. Jesus was thin and weak. His skin was blistered by the scorching wilderness sun. He probably looked as if He had not bathed in weeks.
Jesus, A Theography, by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola
Using the Lord’s hunger as a point of temptation, Satan said to Him, “If You really are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread and eat.”
Notice that the temptation was to lure Jesus into drawing on His Divine power. Consider Jesus’ response: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that God speaks.””
Look at the dialogue carefully. Satan said,
“If You’re the Son of God . .” Jesus responded with the word man, as if to say: “I am a man. I am the real human——the new Adam. And by being a real human, I will defeat you. For Adam, who was also a man, was defeated by you. I am God . . ”
As Paul put it, Jesus laid aside, or emptied, Himself, of His divine power, but took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.“
Jesus rejected being a Muscle Messiah. Instead, He truly became human and participated in the limitations and frailty of our humanity. Even to the point of death.
The temptations that Satan leveled against Jesus in the wilderness were targeted at obliterating His true humanity and His solidarity with humans.
If Jesus had taken the bait and drawn on His divine powers as the Son of God, He would have ceased living as a human being. And He would have ceased being the Second Adam, “Adam-gone-right.” Satan wanted Jesus to dedicate His ministry to changing the world, not saving the world.
- Jesus could inhabit His divine self to save people from their hungers.
- Or He could inhabit His human self to save people from their sins.
As Paul put it, Jesus laid aside, or emptied, Himself, of His divine power, but took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
Jesus was living as man anointed by the Spirit of God and living by God’s words and God’s life. In these words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,”79 Jesus gave us an insight He would repeat over and over again: that He was a man who was living by the indwelling life of His Father——the very thing Adam was called to do by eating from the Tree of Life in the Garden.
Extract from Commentary on Luke, I. Howard Marshall, Paternoster Press, 1978, p.165