These passages depict two of the greatest temptation scenes recorded in Scripture. Both also reveal and identify Satan as the ‘tempter’ who is sly, subtle and serious.
As we examine the way Satan tempted both Adam and Eve and then Jesus, we note that temptation is almost always linked to our obedience. We can also draw similar parallels in the tactics employed by the ‘tempter’ who preys on 3 specific areas:
- Physical Needs (Genesis 1:6, Matthew 4:2–3)
- Pride (Genesis 1:5, Matthew 4:6)
- Power and Covetousness (Genesis 1:6, Matthew 4:9)
The stark difference in these passages is found in the way we respond when tempted – whether we succumb to the scream for satisfaction of the flesh or whether we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the Father.
In Genesis 1, a single command was defied by a single temptation that led to a single devastating result. By contrast, in Matthew 4, Jesus sees through Satan’s trap in all three instances (verses 4, 7, 10) and accordingly models for us that being satisfied in God is better than being satisfied in any other thing this world has to offer. He answers each time, tackling
each temptation, with His knowledge of Scripture, so embracing only His mission – the way of the cross.
Hebrews refers to Jesus as the one who has been tempted in every respect, just as we are – yet He led a life without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Christ leaves us an example that we should aim to follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21) and walk in the same way as He walked (1 John 2:6).