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The Three Temptations of Christ

According to Matthew’s Gospel, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the River Jordan. The voice of God proclaims Christ to be his Son. Jesus is then sent into the wild to fast and undergo the temptations of Satan for 40 days. In this article, you will encounter the three temptations of Christ.

The temptations of Christ are mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke , with slight differences. For example, in the gospel of Mark, the event is briefly acknowledged. Matthew and Luke offer descriptions of the temptations, as well as provide conversation details that occurred between the Devil and Jesus. The texts state that after being baptized, Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the desert. During this mission, the Devil appears to Jesus and tempts him. When Jesus refuses each temptation, the Devil leaves and angels come and bring nourishment to Jesus.

The Importance of Fasting in the Bible

In traditional circles, fasting played an important role in many religious accounts and oftentimes signified a difficult spiritual event was to take place. Other instances where fasting has been noted include the 40 days and nights that Elijah and Moses underwent in the Old Testament. In some cases, fasting did not mean a complete elimination of all food. Some individuals may have survived on whatever they could find in their surroundings.

The First Temptation

The first temptation that the Devil attempts to use against Christ is to prey upon his hunger. He tempts him to turn stones into bread so that he could feed himself. Christ does not fall victim to this temptation and instead quotes the following Scripture: “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This is from Deuteronomy 8:3.

The Second Temptation

After Jesus rejects the first temptation, the Devil takes him to a high pinnacle in what Matthew refers to as a holy city. Many Christians believe that the “holy city” is a reference to a Jerusalem and the “temple” where the pinnacle is found is the Temple of Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew refers to “the temple” many times without ever stating that it was in Jerusalem. In Luke’s version, the tale clearly links the location to Jerusalem.

The second temptation of Christ is to throw himself down from the parapet of the Temple to prove that he was the Son of God.

The Third Temptation

The last temptation takes Jesus to a high place, which Matthew calls a high mountain , where all the kingdoms of the world are visible. The Devil tempts him to worship him in return for all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus says, “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'”