5-8 The Temptation Of Jesus
Matthew 4: 1-11: “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 afterwards 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 anytime thou dash thy foot
against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt
not tempt the Lord thy God. “Again, the devil taketh him up into
an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth 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”.
This passage is read as meaning that a being called the
“devil” tempted Jesus to sin by suggesting certain things
to Him and leading Him into tempting situations.
1. Jesus “was in all points tempted, like as we
are” (Heb. 4: 15), and: “every man is tempted, when he is
drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). We are
tempted by the “devil” of our own lusts or evil desires,
and so was Jesus. We are not tempted by an evil being suddenly standing
next to us and prompting us to sin - sin and temptation come
“from within, out of the heart of man” (Mk. 7: 21). They
“proceed” out of the heart, as if to stress that the heart
really is their source. Jesus was tempted just as we are (Heb.
4:15,16), and in this sense He becomes for us a legitimate example.
Paul borrows the language of "the tempter" coming to Jesus and applies
it to "the tempter" coming to Christians (1 Thess. 3:5). And we can
note that Matthew alone records how Jesus fasted during the temptation
period- and it is Matthew alone who records instruction to us about
fasting (Mt. 16:16-8 cp. 9:14,15). Seeing we're not physically
encountered by a literal personal satan in our times of testing, it
surely follows that neither was Jesus our example.
2. The temptations are hard to take literally:-
- Matthew 4: 8 implies that Jesus was led up into a high
mountain to see all the kingdoms of the world in their future glory,
“In a moment of time”. There is no mountain high enough to
see all the world. And why would the height of the mountain enable
Jesus to see what the world would be like in the future? The earth,
being a sphere, there is no point on its surface from which one can see
all the parts of the world at one time.
- A comparison of Matthew 4 and Luke 4 shows
that the temptations are described in a different order. Mark 11:13
says that Jesus was “in the wilderness forty days, tempted of
Satan”, whilst Matthew 4 : 2-3 says that “when he had
fasted forty days...the tempter (Satan) came to Him...”. Because
Scripture cannot contradict itself, we can conclude that these same
temptations kept repeating themselves. The temptation to turn stones
into bread is an obvious example. This would fit nicely if these
temptations occurred within the mind of Jesus. Being of our nature, the
lack of food would have affected him mentally as well as physically,
and thus his mind would have easily begun to imagine things. Just going
a few days without food can lead to delirium for some (cp. 1 Sam. 30:12
). The similarity between rolls of bread and stones is mentioned by
Jesus in Mt. 7: 9, and doubtless those images often merged in his
tortured mind - although always to be brought into swift control by his
recollection of the Word
- Jesus probably told the Gospel writers the record of
His temptations, and to bring home in words the intensity of what He
underwent, He could have used the figurative approach seen in Matthew 4
and Luke 4.
- It seems unlikely that several times the devil led
Jesus through the wilderness and streets of Jerusalem and then scaled a
pinnacle of the temple together, all in view of the inquisitive Jews.
Josephus makes no record of anything like this happening - presumably
it would have caused a major stir. Similarly, if these temptations
occurred several times within the forty days as well as at the end of
that period (which they did at least twice, seeing that Matthew and
Luke have them in different order), how would Jesus have had time to
walk (n.b. the devil “led” Jesus there) to the nearest high
mountain (which could have been Hermon in the far north of Israel),
climb to the top and back down again, return to the wilderness and then
repeat the exercise? His temptations all occurred in the wilderness -
He was there for forty days, tempted all the time by the devil (he only
departed at the end - Matt. 4:11). If Jesus was tempted by the devil
each day, and the temptations occurred only in the wilderness, then it
follows that Jesus could not have left the wilderness to go to
Jerusalem or travel to a high mountain. These things therefore could
not have literally happened.
- If the devil is a physical person who has no respect
for God’s Word and is interested in making people sin, then why
would Jesus quote Scripture to overcome him? According to the popular
view, this would not send the devil away. Notice that Jesus quoted a
Bible passage each time. If the devil was the evil desires within
Jesus’ heart, then it is understandable that by His having the
Word in His heart and reminding Himself of it, He could overcome those
bad desires. Psalm 119:11 is so relevant that perhaps it is
specifically prophesying Christ’s experience in the wilderness:
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against
- That the temptations were internal to the mind of
Jesus is suggested by the way that in Matthew's record, there is a
progression from the desert, to the temple pinnacle, to a high
mountain- as if in some sort of ascent toward Heaven. It's even
possible that Paul has this in mind when he comments that Jesus did not
consider rising up to equality with God a thing to be grasped at, He
dismissed that temptation, and instead He progressively lowered
Himself, even to the death of the cross (Phil. 2:6-8).
We can of course understand the 'Satan' figure to be a
literal person who as it were ministered the suggestions / temptations
/ tests to the Lord Jesus. This would be in keeping with how in Old
Testament times God had raised up various adversaries through whom to
test His children. But those individuals were very much under God's
control and as it were on His side. John Thomas, who shared our view of
Satan completely, put it like this: "If Deity became Satan to Israel,
and to Job, it is not to be denied that an angel may have assumed the
same attitude in the case of Jesus Christ" (1).
3. The devil left him “for a season” to
return later. The temptations from 'the devil' returned when the Jewish
people, the Pharisees and Herod demanded of Jesus that He pull off a
miracle (Lk.23:6-9; Mk. 6:1-6; 8:11-13; 15:31; Mt. 12:38-42). This was
just the temptation He had faced and overcome in Mt. 4:5-7. Yet there
is no record of a creature literally approaching the Lord later in His
ministry. And yet the essence of the three temptations did indeed
return to Him later, and the three of them found their quintessence in
the experiences of the cross. Thus “cast thyself down” was
matched by the Jews [again associating things Jewish with the devil]
tempting Jesus to come down from the cross. There is a strong
association between the 'satan' and the Jewish system. The whole
structure of the record would have sounded to first century ears like a
debate between the Jewish rabbis and their disciple: "Matthew's and
Luke's stories are in the form of a three-part conversation not unlike
the debates of the scribes which utilize proof-texts from Scripture"
(2). The triple temptations are to be compared with the Lord's triple
temptation in Gethsemane, and His three trials for His life (before the
Sanhedrin, Herod and Pilate). In this sense the satan 'returned' to
Him. This is especially clear in Mark's Gospel. The Jews- the Jewish
Satan as it were, the adversary to the Lord's cause- are recorded as
putting Him to the test, just as He was tested in the desert (Mk.
8:11-13; 10:2; 12:13-17).
We note that the Gospels go on to call Peter "satan" and
Judas "a devil"- perhaps because both of them offered the Lord Jesus
the same temptations to immediate glory without the cross which "satan"
did in the wilderness. They would therefore have been occasions of
where Satan 'returned' to the Lord as predicted at the close of the
account of the wilderness temptations. A good case can be made for
Judas' betrayal of the Lord being rooted in his desire for an immediate
Messianic Kingdom, and his bitter disappointment and anger when he
finally understood that the Lord's Kingdom was not to come about in
that way. It's been suggested that 'Iscariot' is related to the Latin sicarius,
an assassin, which would suggest that Judas [like Peter] was a zealot
willing to use force and violence to bring about the Kingdom of Jesus
John's Gospel omits many of the incidents and teaching
accounts of the synoptics, but repeats their essence in a different way
(4). It seems John's equivalent of the temptation narratives is his
account in Jn. 6:1-14 of the Jews tempting Jesus to do a miraculous
sign to prove Himself Messiah, and to provide manna in the wilderness.
In this case, John is casting the Jews and their thinking in the role
of the "satan" of the wilderness temptations. The following parallels
between the wilderness temptations and the Lord’s experience as
recorded in Jn. 6 indicate how the ‘devil’ of temptation
returned to the Lord Jesus- and note in passing how the equivalent of
‘satan’ is the Jews:
The wilderness temptations
The Jewish crowd wanted to make him king (Jn. 6:15)
Satan offers him the kingship of the [Jewish?]
The Jews ask for miraculous bread (Jn. 6:31)
Satan invites him to make miraculous bread
The [Jewish] disciples want Jesus to go to
Jerusalem to show His power (Jn. 7:3)
Satan takes Jesus to Jerusalem and tempts Him to
show His power.
The Synoptics speak of how satan ‘comes to’
and tempts and challenges the Lord Jesus to claim earthly political
power, which ‘satan’ can give him (Mt. 4:8,9). But John
describes this in terms of “the people” coming to Him and
trying to make Him King- which temptation He refused (Jn. 6:15).
Likewise it was ‘the devil’ in the wilderness who tempted
Jesus to make the stones into bread. But in Jn. 6:30,31, it is the
Jewish people who offer Him the same temptation. In the wilderness, the
Lord responded that man lives by the bread which comes from the mouth
of God. In Jn. 6:32, He responds likewise by speaking about “the
true bread from heaven”. The temptation from ‘the
devil’ to publically display His Divine powers in front of Israel
in the Jerusalem temple (Mt. 4:5,6; Lk. 4:9-12) is repeated by John in
terms of the Lord’s brothers tempting Him to go up to the same
temple and openly validate Himself “to the world” (Jn.
In any case, the temptation to produce manna in the
wilderness was a temptation to play the role of Messiah as the Jews
would have expected it to be played- and this was exactly the
temptation that Jesus overcame. Likewise, the temptation to appear on
the pinnacle of the temple and jump down to Israel from there was a
temptation to again be the Messiah Israel wanted, rather than the One
God wanted; for according to the rabbinic Pesiqta Rabbati 36,
"When the King, the Messiah, reveals himself, he will come and stand on
the roof of the temple". These temptations repeated themselves, as "the
devil departed for a season" to return later- e.g. in the form of the
relatives of Jesus tempting Him to go up to Jerusalem and to some
dramatic works to prove His identity. It was the Jews who repeatedly
demanded from Jesus a dramatic "sign from Heaven" (Mt. 16:1; 22:18,35;
Mk. 8:11; 10:2; 12:15; Lk. 11:16)- "tempting him" to give one. They are
the ones continuing the tempting of Jesus which we first encounter in
the record of His wilderness temptations. Hence we can connect the
wilderness "satan" with the Jews / Jewish thinking and the temptation
to be as they wanted rather than as God intended.
Matthew's record speaks of "the tempter", and the
suggestion has been made that this was a technical term used to refer
to the Essene priest whose duty it was to test the claims to
Messiahship made by people (5). This would confirm the suggestion that
the Lord's temptations were at the hands of the Jews. The desert where
He was would've been accessible from the Qumran settlement of the
Essenes, and the preceding chapter 3 of Matthew has recorded how many
of these people appear to have accepted baptism from John the Baptist
in the very area where the temptations occured. Perhaps "the tempter"
priest stayed around and entered into dialogue with Jesus. In
confirmation of the idea that the "devil" was some form of Jewish
priestly figure, we note that Mt. 4:4 records that Jesus told him that
"It is written...". To the illiterate, Jesus usually said that
they would have heard something said in the Old
Testament; but to the literate Jewish religious leadership, He prefaces
His quotations or allusions by saying that "It is written". The
fact He uses this phrase here would suggest He may have been talking to
one of that class. The Wisdom
of Solomon 2:12-20 has a surprising number of similarities to the
Lord’s life and death amongst the Jews, suggesting that they did
indeed subject Him to tests of His Messiahsip:
“Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he
annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our breaches
of the law an accuses us of playing false...he claims to have knowledge
of God, and calls himself a son of the Lord. Before us he stands, a
reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our
spirits down; His way of life is not like other men’s... in His
opinion we are counterfeit... and boasts of having God as His father.
let us see if what he says is true, let us observe what kind of end he
himself will have. If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will
take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies. Let
us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this
gentleness of His and put His endurance to the proof. Let us condemn
him to a shameful death since he will be looked after- we have his
word for it" (6).
4. In Lk. 11:21,22, the Lord Jesus speaks of how He has
already overcome ‘Satan’ and is now sharing Satan’s
goods with His disciples. Now this may be prophetic of the Lord’s
faith in victory over ‘satan’ in the cross. But it could
also be a reference back to His successful struggle with
‘satan’ in the wilderness. If this is the case, then He is
reflecting how He understood ‘satan’ not as a literal
strong man who guards his house, for Jesus didn’t fight with such
a person in the wilderness, but rather to the symbolic power of sin
with which He had fought and overcome (7).
5. There is an evident similarity between the
temptations / testing of Jesus and the temptations / testing of Israel,
also in the wilderness. That's why each time, the Lord replies to the
temptation with a quotation from Deuteronomy relevant to the wilderness
temptations of Israel. The point is that it was God who
tested Israel. The Greek words peirazo and peirasmos
which are translated "tempt" in the wilderness temptation record are
used in the Greek Old Testament in connection with God
testing His people (Gen. 22:1; Ex. 15:25; 17:7; Num. 14:22; Dt. 4:34;
8:2; 9:22; 33:8; Ps. 95:8). Quite simply, whoever or whatever "the
devil" was in the Lord's temptations, it was under the control of God.
We've earlier pointed out how God tested Israel in 2 Sam.
24:1, but the parallel 1 Chron. 21:1 says that "satan" did this.
6. The Lord Jesus overcame the temptations by quoting
Scripture. This is an understandable way to overcome temptation that
goes on within the human mind; but there is no logical nor Biblical
reason why an evil being such as a personal satan would be somehow
scared off by quoting Scripture. If tempted or threatened by an evil
person, let alone a personal "Satan", it would be quite useless to
merely quote Bible verses to the person so that they leave us. But once
the real 'satan' is understood to be the adversary of our own internal
temptations and thoughts, all becomes clearer.
7. The idea of the Lord being led by the spirit and then
seeing things like Him standing on a high mountain, or perched on a
temple pinnacle, all have some similarities with the experience of
Ezekiel. He was likewise 'led of the spirit' of God to the captives by
the river Chebar; he was 'in spirit' transported there, but I don't
think that means he literally went there (Ez. 1:4-28; 3:11-15;
11:1,24,25). It seems the same happened with the Lord Jesus, the "son
of man" whom Ezekiel typified in so many ways.
8. The account of the temptations begins and ends with
reference to "the spirit". The Lord Jesus was led by God's spirit into
the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, and then "Jesus returned in the
power of the Spirit into Galilee" (Lk. 4:1,14). The nature of the
record hardly suggests that 'Satan' was in radical, independent
opposition to the spirit of God; even if we take 'Satan' as a personal
being in the narrative, clearly there was a co-operation between him
and God in order to test God's Son (cp. Paul's delivering of people
unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme, 1 Cor. 5:5). And that
runs counter to the classical view of Satan as a rebellious being
locked in combat with God, ever seeking to oppose Him.
1. When Jesus was baptized in Jordan by John, He
received the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16). As soon as He came
out of the water, He was driven into the wilderness to be tempted.
Knowing that He had the power of the spirit to turn stones into bread,
jump off buildings unharmed etc., these temptations must have raged
within His mind. If a person was suggesting these things to Jesus and
Jesus knew that person to be sinful, then the temptations were a lot
less subtle than if they came from within Jesus’ own mind.
2. The temptation to take the kingdoms to Himself would
have been far more powerful if it came from within Christ. Jesus’
mind would have been full of Scripture, and in His afflicted state of
mind, caused by His fasting, it would be tempting to misinterpret
passages to enable Him to use them to justify taking the easy way out
of the situation He was in.
Standing on a high mountain recalls Ezekiel being shown
what the Kingdom would be like from a high mountain (Ez. 40:2), and
John, seeing “the holy Jerusalem” from “a great and
high mountain” (Rev. 21:10). Jesus saw the world’s kingdoms
as they would be in the future (Lk. 4:5), i.e. in the Kingdom, when
“the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord
and of His Christ” (Rev. 11:15). Maybe He would have thought of
Moses at the end of 40 years’ wilderness wandering (cp. His forty
days) looking out at the Promised Land (the Kingdom) from Mount Nebo.
It is emphasized in Daniel (Dan. 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21) that “the
most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he
will”; Jesus would have known that only God, not anyone else,
could give Him the kingdom. Therefore it would not have been much of a
temptation if an evil monster claimed to be able to give Jesus the
kingdom, when He knew only God had the power. However, Jesus knew that
it was His (the Father’s) good pleasure to give Jesus the
kingdom, and it must have been suggested by the “devil”
within Jesus that He could take that kingdom immediately. After all, He
could have reasoned, God has delegated all authority to me in prospect
(Jn. 5:26-27), to the extent that He had power to both give His life
and take it again (Jn. 10:18), although ultimately all power was given
unto Him only after His death and resurrection (Matt. 28:18). Jer.
27:5-8 and Jer. 34:5-8 in the LXX speak of how God has made the earth
and will give it (Gk. doso) to whomever He wishes; and these
are the very words of the 'satan' in Luke's record: "I will give (doso)
it to you... I give it to whomever I wish". One could say that this is
a way of explaining how the Lord Jesus was tempted to 'play God' and
seek equality with God- which temptation He refused (as Paul points out
in Phil. 2).
3. With His familiarity with Scripture, Christ would
have seen the similarities between Himself and Elijah, whose morale
collapsed after 40 days in the wilderness (1 Kings 19: 8) and Moses,
who forfeited his immediate inheritance of the land at the end of 40
years in the wilderness. Jesus at the end of 40 days, was in a similar
position to them - faced with a real possibility of failure. Moses and
Elijah failed because of human weakness - not because of a person
called “the devil”. It was this same human weakness, the
“satan’ , or adversary, that was tempting Jesus.
4. “And the devil said unto Him, If thou be the
Son of God...” (Lk. 4: 3). It must have been a constant
temptation within the mind of Christ to question whether He really was
the Son of God, seeing that everyone else thought He was the son of
Joseph (Lk. 3:23; Jn. 6:42) or illegitimate (so Jn. 9:29 implies), and
that the official temple records described him as the son of Joseph
(Matt. 1:1,16; Lk. 3:23, where “supposed” means
‘reckoned by law’). He was the only human being not to have
a human father. Philippians 2: 8 implies that Jesus came to appreciate
that He really was a man like us, inferring it was tempting for Him to
disbelieve He was the Son of God, or to misunderstand His own nature.
5. The temptations were controlled by God for
Christ’s spiritual education. The passages quoted by Jesus to
strengthen Himself against His desires (“devil”) are all
from the same part of Deuteronomy, regarding Israel’s experience
in the wilderness. Jesus clearly saw a parallel between His experiences
Deuteronomy 8:2 “The Lord thy God led thee
these forty years in the wilderness to humble thee, and to prove thee,
to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His
commandments (word), or no.”
Matthew 4 / Luke 4 “Jesus led up of the
spirit” “forty days” “in the wilderness”.
Jesus was proved by the temptations. Jesus overcame by quoting the
Scriptures that were in His heart (Ps. 119:11), thus showing it was the
Scriptures that were in His heart.
Deuteronomy 8:3. “And he humbled thee, and
suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna... that He might make
thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word...of
“He was afterward an hungered". In John 6
manna is interpreted by Jesus as representing the Word of God, which
Jesus lived by in the wilderness. Jesus learnt that spiritually He
lived by the Word of God. “He answered...it is written, Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word ...of God”.,
Deuteronomy 8:5 “Thou shalt also consider in
thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God
Jesus no doubt reflected on His experiences. God
chastened His Son, Jesus- 2 Sam. 7:12; Ps. 89: 32.
Thus Jesus showed us how to read and study the Word - He
thought Himself into the position of Israel in the wilderness, and
therefore took the lessons that can be learnt from their experiences to
Himself in His wilderness trials. The description of the Lord Jesus as
being in the wilderness with beasts and Angels (Mk. 1:13) is another
connection with Israel’s experience in the wilderness- they were
plagued there by “wild beasts” because of their
disobedience (Dt. 32:19-24 and context).
(1) John Thomas, Eureka: An Exposition Of The
Apocalypse (West Beach, Australia: Logos Publications, 1985 ed.),
Vol. 3 p. 65.
(2) G.H. Twelftree, 'Temptation Of Jesus', in
I.H.Marshall, ed., Dictionary Of Jesus And The Gospels (Leicester:
IVP, 1992) p. 822. Ernst Lohmeyer likewise noted that the account of
the wilderness temptations reads very much as a disputation between two
Rabbis- as if Jesus was arguing with a Jewish mind about the
interpretation of Scripture. See Ernst Lohmeyer, The Lord's Prayer
(London: Collins, 1965) p. 224. Henry Kelly sees the record as "a
typical rabbinical "show-debate". Such debates were a form of midrash
(meditation on Scripture) that displayed an authoritative figure
responding to a series of challenges by citing the correct passage from
Scripture"- Satan: A Biography (Cambridge: C.U.P., 2006) p.
87. There's a passage in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 89b) where
'Satan' three times tempts Abraham, and is rebuffed by Abraham's
quoting of Scripture. There's another example in the Deuteronomy
Rabbah 11.5 where Moses likewise is portrayed as having a triple
dialogue with an Angel about agreeing to his death. The
more researchers explore the Jewish literature contemporary with the
Gospels, the more it becomes apparent that the style of the Gospel
records is similar to that found in the contemporary literature- and
such a show trial was very much Jewish rabbinic style. "The Gospel
tradition presents much of Jesus' teaching in literary forms akin to
those characteristic of rabbinic literature. Such "forms" include
miracle stories, parables, disputations, and "cases", examples drawn
from real life situations"- M. Wilcox, 'Semitic Influence On The New
Testament', in C.A. Evans and S.E. Porter, eds., Dictionary Of New
Testament Background (Leicester: IVP, 2000) p. 1094.
(3) See Oscar Cullmann, The State In The New
Testament (New York: Scribners', 1956) p. 15.
The Synoptic Gospels
Mt. 16:19 the keys of the Gospel of the Kingdom
the more literal accounts of the birth of Jesus
Jn. 1: 1-14
The great preaching commission
Jn. 14:12; 17:18; 20:21; Jn. 15:8,16; Jn. 17:23 RV
The Synoptics all include the Lord’s Mount
Olivet prophecy as a lead-in to the record of the breaking of bread and
In John, the record of this prophecy is omitted
and replaced by the account of the Lord’s discourse in the upper
room. “The day of the son of man” in John becomes
“the hour [of the cross]… that the son of man should be
glorified” (Jn. 12:23). “Coming”, “that
day”, “convict / judge the world” are all phrases
picked up by John and applied to our experience of the Lord right now.
In our context of judgment now, we have to appreciate that the reality
of the future judgment of course holds true; but the essence of it is
going on now.
The three synoptic gospels all include
Peter’s ‘confession’, shortly before Jesus’
transfiguration on the mountain.
In John’s gospel the account of the
transfiguration is lacking. Are we to assume that Thomas’
confession in chapter 20 is supposed to take its place?
The need for water baptism
The account of the breaking of bread
The many quotations from the Old Testament, shown
to be fulfilled in the Lord Jesus.
The synoptics each give some account of the
literal origin of Jesus through giving genealogies or some reference to
John’s version is in John 6:48-58. He
stresses that one must absorb Christ into themselves in order to really
have the eternal life which the bread and blood symbolize. It seems
John puts it this way in order to counter the tendency to think that
merely by partaking in the ritual of breaking bread, believers are
thereby guaranteed eternal life.
John expresses this in more abstract language:
“The word was made flesh” (Jn. 1:14).
John’s Gospel speaks of Jesus as if He
somehow existed in the plan of God from the beginning, but
“became flesh” when He was born of Mary.
(5) See Laurence Gardner, Bloodline Of the Holy
Grail (Gloucester, MA:
Fair Winds Press, 2002) p. 314. This point is apparently confirmed
in Barbara Thiering, Jesus the Man (New York: Simon
and Schuster, 2006) pp. 80,81,88.
(6) Susan Garrett lists several Greek words and phrases
found in the Gospel of Mark which are identical to those in this
section of the Wisdom of Solomon. It would seem that Mark was aware of
this passage in the Wisdom of Solomon, and sought to show how
throughout the Lord's ministry, and especially in His death, the Jews
were seeking to apply it to Him in the way they treated Him. See Susan
Garrett, The Temptations Of Jesus In Mark's Gospel (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) p. 68.
(7) This is actually the view of Joachim Jeremias, New
Testament Theology (New York: Scribners, 1971) p. 73.