The Temptation in the Wilderness

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written he shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him; and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.


— Matthew 4:1-11

The temptation in the wilderness was an epitome and type of the temptations to come. And as Jesus refused to make stones bread, so throughout his life he never wrought a miracle to help himself; as he refused to cast himself from the temple to convince Satan or glory visibly in his Sonship, so he steadily refused to give the sign which the human Satans demanded. How easy it seems to have confounded them, and strengthened his followers! But such conviction would stand in the way of a better conviction in his disciples. For neither adversary nor disciple could in any true sense be convinced by such a show, which would but prove his power. It might prove the presence of a god, but would it prove God himself? Would it bring him nearer to them, who could not see him in the face of his Son? To say, Thou art God, without knowing what “Thou” means, is of no use. God is a name only, except we know God. Our Lord did not care to be so acknowledged.

On the same principle, he would not do miracles where unbelief predominated. I do not think he cared much about them. A mere marvel is soon forgotten, and long before it is forgotten, many minds have begun to doubt the senses, their own even, which communicated it. Inward sight alone can convince of truth, signs and wonders never. But the vision of the truth itself, something altogether beyond the region of signs and wonders, is the power of God; it is salvation.

Commentary

Thou
by Dale Darling

Inward sight alone, the filling of the Holy Spirit, Christ in me: the hope can convince of truth. But the vision of theTruth Himself is the power of God. Because you have seen, and thrust your finger and hand into my wounds, do you now believe? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe! 

There is now no need for the temporal or the clever. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven!