Jesus Apologetics, part 2
by Rod Jackson
All verses are quoted from the NASB anything in [square brackets] is added by me for clarity.
"Then the devil took Him [Jesus] into the holy city [Jerusalem] and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, `If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; 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.'' Jesus said to him, `On the other hand, it is written, `YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'' " Matthew 4:5-7
Satan has just had Jesus refute him with scripture, so Satan this time tries to use Scripture against Jesus. He quotes from Psalm 91.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, `My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!' For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. ... For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone." Psalm 91:1-3 & 11-12
If you read the whole Psalm you will see that in the unquoted part (v4-10) it lists more things that God will deliver the one who is described in the start of the Psalm (v1-3 as quoted above). And by looking at those verses 1-3 we can see that Jesus does fulfil the description. Therefore Satan is correct to be applying the verses 11-12, which he quoted, to Jesus. In other words Satan is quoting scripture *in context*.
Problem - The scripture quoted refer to God saving the one who trusts in Him from these problems (like striking a stone etc). However by asking Jesus to deliberately set up a situation to create the problem, to see if the angels will rescue Him, this is like saying, 'Trust God is with you, but you better do this test to make sure He is with you.'
Jesus' solution - Quote scripture (remember Satan doesn't have to be 'convinced' that it is the word of God, that is a 'given').
"You [Israel] shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah." Deuteronomy 6:16
ok, this is the passage Jesus quoted to the devil (or the bit at the start). So how did Israel test God at Massah?
"He [Moses] named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, `Is the LORD among us, or not?'" Exodus 17:7
So Israel tested God by not trusting God was with them. Jesus however, did trust God was with Him and hence did not need to prove that God was with Him.
"Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him." Matthew 4:11
And we see that angels did minister to Jesus after Satan leaves. therefore Jesus' trust in God was well placed.
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