Focus text: Matthew 4
When I got to today’s readings, I knew I had to cover Matthew 4!
The Temptation narrative is rich with theological meaning on so many levels but I want to highlight two of my
Jesus succeeds where Adam failed:
Yesterday, we read Genesis 3 and the narrative of the Fall. One component of the Fall is that often missed is how the serpent’s temptation worked on three fronts:
The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look
at ,and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom…
That tactic was profoundly effective!
So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.Genesis 3:6 CSB
Those three things – the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17) – come to the fore in Jesus’ temptation.
The first temptation was the temptation to turn stones into bread – a temptation to satisfy the body’s desire for food. The second temptation was the temptation for Jesus to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the Temple. Satan’s use of the Psalms
But where Adam and Eve
Jesus succeeds where Israel failed:
Not only does Jesus succeed where Adam fails but He succeeded where Israel as a nation failed.
In the interest of brevity, I will simply note a few areas of similarity as well as contrast:
- Israel, God’s firstborn, entered the wilderness after passing through the waters of the Red Sea
- Jesus, God’s firstborn, entered the wilderness after passing through water in His baptism
- Israel went into the wilderness for 40 years at the behest of God for their lack of faith in God’s direction
- Jesus goes into the wilderness for 40 days at the leading of the Spirit
- Israel grumbled for bread in the wilderness in a lack of faith
- Jesus refuses bread in submission and faith in God
- Israel constantly gave into idolatry in the wilderness
- Jesus refused to worship Satan in the wilderness
Unlike Israel, whose history was one of constant failure and disobedience, Jesus succeeds in the wilderness!
Adam failed in the Garden and Israel failed in the wilderness – yet Jesus is the Victor over the adversary, fulfilling what was lacking in their stories…and in His obedient life, He succeeds where His elect has failed and His righteousness is imputed to their account.
Soli deo Gloria!