Bible Questions and Answers

Browse all the questions that have been asked at and see their answers, read the most recent questions and answers, or have a look at some prepared questions and answers on key Bible themes.

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

Who tempted Jesus after his baptism?

The devil and Satan is not the fallen angel of Christian mythology. It is the personification of the propensity to sin inherited from Adam and Eve as a consequence of their eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Jesus was born with our nature and tempted in exactly the same way as we are.

Hebrews 2:17 it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

We do not meet up with a supernatural tempter; our temptation to sin comes from within. It logically follows that to be tempted as we are; Christ’s temptations also came from within.

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man:

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

James explains the process that leads to sin.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Paul describes the inner struggle experienced by all who would live Godly lives. If temptation came from a supernatural being outside of us surely Paul would have said so.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Ananias and Saphira illustrate the way that scripture personifies the lust within.

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

What Peter means literally is seen in the next verse:
Acts 5:4 why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart?

By comparison with James:

Acts 5:3 why hath Satan filled thine heart

Acts 5:4 why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart?

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived it brings forth sin

Thus Satan in context = Ananias’ lust

What is meant by Satan tempting us is made clear again in advice on abstinence from sexual relations between a man and wife.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

We are not to suppose that they will be subjected to face to face suggestions from a supernatural being but rather tempted by their natural desires to seek gratification with someone other than their spouse.

Temptation by the devil and Satan is a metaphor used in the New Testament for an inner desire to do that which is contrary to the commandments of God.

Christ’s temptation came from within. It was a battle between his own will and the will of God. Christ always overcame his own desires and submitted to the will of God.

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

In doing God’s will even unto death he destroyed the devil within.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil

By comparison:

James 1:15 when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin... bringeth forth death.

Hebrews 2:14 him that had the power of death, that is, the devil

Thus ‘him that had the power of death, that is, the devil’ = our own lust.
Christ was tempted by his own natural desires.
For what reason did Jesus allow himself to be tempted?

He could not prevent himself being tempted because he was a man; made exactly like us and tempted exactly as we are. He overcame by his perfect knowledge of what sin was and his strength of character.

Philippians 2:8 being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Hebrews 4:15 in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

By the time we recognise what sin is we have already sinned and come under condemnation. Jesus was different in this respect.

Isaiah 11:2 the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD

Isaiah 53:11 by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many

Adam was not deceived; his disobedience was deliberate. Born in Adam we are deceived by our own desires and condemned to death. Jesus was not deceived; his obedience was deliberate. He overcame his own desires and was raised to eternal life. If we are reborn by belief and baptism into Christ our condemnation for sin is annulled and we have the opportunity of eternal life.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

At the resurrection Christ’s righteousness will be imputed to us.

Romans 4:3 Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness... 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

I hope you have found this helpful.

May God bless you,