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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jesus Refuses to Test God

"Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple" (Matthew 4:5).

In confronting our Lord Jesus Christ, satan persisted in trying to undermine or destroy the Son's relationship to His Father. This time he goaded Jesus with this statement: "If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down." To fortify his challenge an make it more plausible, the adversary - with a subtle and clever twist - quoted Scripture: "For it is written, "He will command His angels concerning You"; and "On their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone" (Psalm 91:11-12).

Now satan surely had Christ backed into a corner, he likely reasoned, using his misguided and evil sense of logic. "If the Messiah lives only according to the Word of God, then I should confront Him with something from that Word." If Jesus wouldn't use His own power to help Himself and meet His immediate needs, maybe he would let God work on His behalf - after all, this was a "scriptural test," according to satan. Jesus could thus let God fulfill a promise from Psalms and prove to others that He was indeed God's Son and Messiah.

But no matter how persuasive satan's argument - undergirded with a proof text - may have sounded, Jesus did not agree to it, not wanting to presumptuously test God or jump ahead of the divine timetable for the Savior's redemptive ministry.

Ask Yourself: Yes, Scripture can be turned and twisted to suit anyone's ends. What safeguards do you have in place against misusing the Word of God, while still maintaining a bold, believing faith in its sense of direction? Ask the Spirit to guide you into its truth. That's His job (John 16:13).

~John MacArthur~

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