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Satan comes to us and subtly makes suggestions. Or, maybe they are not so subtle. Satan may even quote scripture to us. He did it with Jesus.

The essence of the suggestion is not trusting in God and testing Him. “If you are God, then …”

What does Jesus, the Messiah, have to say about this. What does He say to Satan?

Jesus is clear. We are not to test God. God’s goal for us is to listen to God and do what he says.

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Master your God to the test.’ ”[1]

(Matthew 4:7)

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Satan is trying to get Jesus to test his Father By intentionally putting himself in harm’s way, Jesus would be inappropriately testing his Father’s love, trying to manipulate him to send a rescuing force of angels.

  • True faith asks no such demands.
  • If Jesus were to cast himself off the high place of the temple and the angels rescued him, think of the reaction of the people!
  • Such a spectacular display would gain Jesus a messianic following, but not by the Father’s pathway—obediently proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and suffering whatever consequences may come.

Jesus is being challenged to confirm the relationship he has to the Father. Does the Father really love him? Prove it by sending help. Does the Father really know the best way to gain a national following? Watch the reaction a jump will produce. But Jesus does not need to get the Father to prove to him that they have this Father-Son relationship. The Father declared the relationship at the baptism; the Son needs no further confirmation.

God’s goal: This is the essence of biblical faith: taking God at his Word and being obedient to it without needing other confirmation.[2]

  • James 1:2–4 (ESV) —Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
  • Romans 5:3–4 (ESV) —Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Bonus Content: Check out this supplemental content about “How can I find joy in the midst of trials?”. It adds context to this article. If you like it, please consider subscribing to the channel on YouTube.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 4:7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Wilkins, M. J. (2004). Matthew (p. 160). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.