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And the Tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Bible

“If you are.” The Devil did not doubt who Jesus was, and neither did Jesus. The Devil, called “the Tempter” in the verse, is goading Jesus, prodding and poking him in order to get him to act rashly. He was trying to get a reaction from Jesus like, “I am the Son of God, and I’ll prove it to you,” and then do something stupid. This event is historical fact, but we must learn from it because the Devil and those who follow him use the same tactic every day, poking at people until they get angry and do something stupid. We are to be peaceful and controlled and not be victims of the Devil’s tricks.

“the Tempter.” This is a name for the Slanderer (the Devil). The Greek is peirazō (#3985 πειράζω; pronounced, pay-rah’-zō), which means to tempt, to put through an ordeal. It can also be used in a good sense, to test with the idea of the one tested being successful, but that is not its meaning here. The Tempter is an apt name for the Slanderer, because he is constantly at work to set traps and temptations up so that people will fall. The Adversary comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and often he sets the stage with a temptation so that we end up destroying ourselves. [For other names of the Devil and their meanings, see Appendix 14: “Names of the Devil”].


Commentary for: Matthew 4:3