Tempted to Question the Story.
In Israel there are so many stories of events connected to places. True or imagined? It’s often hard to tell. Jericho being the worlds oldest city was proven by excavations. Also the home of Elisha’s Spring? That is an oral tradition requiring some trust. Claiming that Jericho is at the base of the Mount where Jesus was tempted may not be accurate, but it makes for a wonderful tourist attraction.
A five-minute cable car ride from Jericho to the top of “The Mount of Temptation” offers a panoramic view stretching out past the Jordan River to the foot hills of Jordan. A Greek Orthodox monastery was established by Byzantine monks in the sixth century. They lived in the caves that peppered the side of the mount. Still occupied by two aged monks, with occasional visitors, tourists can enter their chapel cave. Within it is said to be the slab of stone Jesus sat on during His forty days of fasting and meditation. Several days later I was tempted to doubt the story after seeing the Wilderness of Judea.
When Tempted to Doubt …. Read the Scriptures.
(Luke 4:1) “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around (under the influence of) by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.”
That doesn’t sound like Jesus was camping out in a cave. And Luke says the temptations had already begun.
“And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.”‘ (Vs 2-4)
Then the situation changed. “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world (the inhabited earth) in a moment of time.” (Vs 5)
They went up from that place where He fasted and in some miraculous way Jesus saw all of the civilizations of the world.
“And the devil said to Him, ‘I will give you all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship me, it shall be Yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY”‘ (Vs 6-8)
Do you think that was a false promise? Perhaps that explains the lives of many wealthy and powerful people today.
“And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’ and, ‘ON THEIR HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.”‘ (Vs 9-11)
Beware and know that the devil can quote Scripture to twist it for his purposes.
“And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It is said, YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.”‘
Now where does it say Jesus ever set foot on the Mount of Temptation? I can picture Him being led by the Spirit for forty days through the Wilderness of Judea. What do you think? Man’s traditions must always be examined in the light of Scripture.
Hallelujah!!! Jesus overcame the temptations of the devil.