Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him 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,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” (Matthew 4:5-7)
When Satan sought to cause Jesus to sin, he foolishly tried to use the word of God. Naturally, he twisted the text in order to make it suit his own purposes. It’s appalling that he would try to use the Word of God against the very One who wrote it.
Notice the Savior’s response. Three times in this encounter with Satan, He quotes Scripture back to him. Where Satan was twisting the Word, Jesus was using it rightly. Though fully man, He is fully God, and He knows His word perfectly.
There are at least a few purposes for this passage.
1. To show Christ’s victory over Satan. Here is a part of, or at least a foreshadowing of, the seed of the woman crushing the head of the serpent (Genesis 3).
2. To show that Christ was truly tempted and yet didn’t sin (Hebrews 4:15).
3. To show an example for us on how to conquer temptation and guard from falsehood. I’ve heard it asked, “If the Captain of our salvation used Scripture to fight temptation, why wouldn’t we?” What’s implied in the Savior’s example is that we should read the Word, memorize what we can, and allow it by the Holy Spirit to take root into our hearts and minds. If we do that, then whenever temptation arises, we will have our sword at hand to strike it down. If falsehood creeps into our house, we can destroy it where it stands and protect our family.
We are at war, Christian. At war with our sinful flesh. At war with an enemy greater than ourselves that would annihilate us if the Lord did not bind him. Therefore, arm yourself. Love the Word. Ask Him to cause it to take deep root in your heart and mind. And do not hesitate to draw your sword when the enemy attacks.