The Third Temptation: Matthew 4:8–11

third temptation Christ

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c) Matt 4:8–11: Technically, the devil made a false claim that the earthly realm belonged to him (Dan 4:32; Dan 7:13–14).

Instead, he operates by usurping human hearts (Matt 13:19; 2 Tim 2:24–26).[1]

Just as in the test failed by Adam and Eve, this temptation involved a choice between the will of God versus the plan of the serpent (Gen 2:16–17; Gen 3:1–13).[2]

Satan asked Jesus to shift his allegiance, achieving the right end by the wrong means. Just before quoting Deut 6:14, Christ gave a curt dismissal of the tempter, proving that the devil remained under his control.[3]



Jesus fulfilled what Adam, the first son of God, did not accomplish (Luke 3:38). While the first Adam failed under the best conditions, the last Adam succeeded in the worst (Gen 2:7–15; Matt 4:1–2).

This victory set the stage for Christ to make atonement for his people (Heb 2:11–18),[4] resulting in the eventual recovery of paradise (Rev 21:1–7).[5]

However, the devil would continue to attempt to derail Jesus from his mission of redemption (Luke 22:1–6).

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Read Matt 4:8–11. What was the nature of this temptation? Why did Jesus succeed where both Adam and Israel failed? Does this encourage or discourage you? Why?





Go to A Murderer from the Beginning (John 8:37–44)

[Related posts include Satan Tempts Christ (Matt 4:1–4); The Third Temptation (Matt 4:8–11); The Lord Breathes Life (Gen 2:7); A Well-Watered Garden (Gen 2:8–14); Forbidden Fruit (Gen 2:16–17); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); A World-Altering Conversation (Gen 3:2–5); Succumbing to Temptation (Gen 3:6); Their Eyes Are Opened (Gen 3:7); Hiding from God (Gen 3:8); A Day of Reckoning (Gen 3:9–13); God Curses the Serpent (Gen 3:14); The First Good News (Gen 3:15); The Accuser (Job 1:6–11 and Job 2:1–7); Satan Addresses the Heavenly Council (Zech 3:1–5); God’s Servant, the Branch (Zech 3:6–10); The Son of Adam, the Son of God (Luke 3:23, 38); A Murderer from the Beginning (John 8:42–44); Effects of the Fall Reversed (Rom 5:12–21 and Rom 16:1–12); Falling for Deception (2 Cor 11:2–4); and Guilty of Misconduct (Jude 8)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 7: The Seed of the Serpent and the Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:14–15)]


[1] Keener, IVPBBCNT, Matt 4:8–9.

[2] Hagner, Matthew 1–13, 68.

[3] France, The Gospel of Matthew, 135.

[4] Wilkins, Matthew, 156.

[5] Davies and Allison, Matthew 1–7, 356.