Bible Study Moment: Temptation

Now let’s look at the temptation of Jesus stories in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. The order is different. If we use Matthew’s order as 1, 2, 3; then Luke has them 1, 3, 2. So what? Now if we look at John, basically the same temptations appear within successive stories. This was brought out in a Life and Teachings of Christ class I took in college.

In John 6:15, at the end of John’s version of the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus takes refuge up the mountain because the people want to make him king, very similar to the devil offering all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus worships him, Matthew’s 3rd temptation.

Then the next day, in John 6:30, 31 some of the people ask for a sign (or miracle) citing their ancestors eating manna from heaven. That request looks a lot like Matthew’s 1st temptation, turning stones into bread.

Then after Jesus talks about being the bread of life, in John 7:1-5 his brothers urge him to go to Jerusalem and do some great work there to gain much more publicity. This sounds similar to the 2nd temptation, throw yourself off the temple because Psalm 91 promises that you’ll be ok.

Mark Phillips