(a.k.a. The Satan Against The Word Test)
"Then the Devil took Him into the Holy City 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.' "
One temptation down, two more to go. You can hear Satan say, "Alright, if changing the stones into bread didn't work, how about a magic trick, a real show stopper. Some daring feat, some David Copperfield meets the Flying Wallendas' exercise in aero-dynamics?"
This time our adversary uses Scripture to tempt our Lord. He uses Psalm 91:11-12. Clever . . . clever . . . clever!
Again, he taunts, "Hey, Jesus, You're the Word, right? Well, how about fulfilling Your own Word, make it happen, prove that this stuff is real! Cast Yourself down off the roof of this church. C'mon - You're not gonna get hurt. Daddy's gonna send His angels. They'll catch you."
Have you ever been tempted by Satan's twisting of the Scriptures to do something you know is not right?
Satan uses Jesus' own Word to compel Him to "fulfill" His Word - outside of the true CONTEXT of His Word. Should Jesus have allowed Himself to be led in such a way, He would have served the warped purposes and pleasures of Satan - not the true purposes and pleasures of God. He would have made Himself Satan's servant - his lap-dog.
Perhaps, this is how Satan was able to fool over 1/3 of the angelic host into following him - a "Truth or Dare" game. Take a chance - is it True or False . . .
Satan tries to get us to do foolish things to advance his purposes and pleasures in this world. Have you ever taken one of Satan's "Truth or Dare - True or False Pop Quizzes"?
1. "C'mon, one more drink, then drive home, you'll make it - God protects you."
True____ False ____
True____ False ____
2. "Abort that baby - it'll crimp your style. God wants you to live free."
3. "Hey - drugs are great. You'll be able to fly like the angels. Just jump off that building and prove it!"
Satan was trying to give Jesus that same drug. But, Jesus wasn't buying. He was fasting. Nothing like fasting to keep you God-focused!
The God-focus in our world continues to blur - too many deceptive and tempting questions on Satan's pop quizzes clouding our ability to discern - true from false. Don't you just hate it when the questions on the tests are written in half-truths? A blurred focus makes it hard to study the WHOLE truth sometimes - and this is where we've likely to stumble.
On a true or false test you have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer right. We hear one facet of a thing and make a judgement out of context creating a doctrine of good intentions - concluding our answer by what sounds like it MAY be right. But, IS it right?
Jesus doesn't take the test Satan places before Him. He RE-WRITES the test to a more perfect exam, using the full counsel of God. While Satan would try to get Him to bite on the sensational of imbalance - He was teetering on the top of that temple roof - Jesus answers with down-to-earth balance.
"On the other hand . . ."
He turns the table and puts the shoe on the other foot. Looks at all cuts of the diamond. Gives a proper perspective - and without quite so many metaphors along the way. He is concise and to the point:
"It is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test."
A Word Study
In the Greek, the word "test" is where we get the word "tempt." Both English words in the Greek - test and tempt - are rendered, "ekpeirazo" (ek-pi-rad-zo). It means: To test thoroughly.
Ekpeirazo is taken from the word "peirazo," which properly means "to pierce" - to burst one's bubble - "pop".
Putting both these words together, ekpeirazo means: To test thoroughly by piercing.
Satan is trying to "test" Jesus - pierce Him - before He is pierced by the test and the nails of the cross. He's trying to usurp the testing of God on the cross by attempting to replace the glory of God's test - a fulfillment of the whole counsel of God in His Word - with a misdirected "pop quiz" that would undercut God's plan of salvation Giving Jesus a "test" with no purpose, in place of God's "test" of ultimate Purpose.
Consider abortion. Every abortion is Satan's use of "ekpeirazo" to kill every child before he/she fulfills their potential and purposes for use by God. People choose to abort their children because they only get half the story - the "now". Considering only one chapter in the book - when the test is on ten chapters of material. What about the other hand - the "later" of the subject.
Jesus would not be deterred in fulfilling His true purpose. "Now" was not the time to succumb to the twisted whims of His enemy just to show off that He COULD throw Himself off that roof without injury. Which He could. Jesus was all about the "later" - the perfect purposes of God - all ten chapters of the textbook - preparing for the final exam and and not getting side-tracked by tricky pop quizzes.
But, Satan will always tempt with the urgency of a pop quiz. Jesus, on the other hand, shows us the way of wisdom, and the reward of staying focused on the requirements of preparation for the Final Exam.
Satan is now 0 for 2. Jesus is 2 for 2.
By passing this test, Jesus paves the way for us to secure an "S" on our Report Card. "S" standing for "saved" - which is very satisfactory!
"As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried by every wind of doctrine. By the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming, but speaking the Truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the Head, even Christ."
Are you studying for your "SAT Word Test"? Will you pass on the "Pop Quiz"?
What do you think? How do you read?
Sharing The SAT Word Test this week with:
Faith Filled Fridays at Beholding Glory