The Third Temptation

third temptation Christ

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.[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. While the first Adam failed under the best conditions, the last Adam succeeded in the worst (Matt 4:1–2). This victory set the stage for Christ to make atonement for his people,[4] resulting in the eventual recovery of paradise (Rev 21:1–7).[5]

However, as we shall see, the devil would continue to attempt to derail Jesus from his mission of redemption.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


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





Go to A Murderer from the Beginning


[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); 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); A Murderer from the Beginning (John 8:42–44); Effects of the Fall Reversed (Rom 5:12–21 and Rom 16:1–12); 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.