Luke 4:3
The devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
Sermons
Affliction no Argument Against SonshipD. Dyke.Luke 4:3
All Christians have not the Same Degree of AssuranceBishop Hacket.Luke 4:3
Appositeness of the TemptationS. Baring-Gould, M. A.Luke 4:3
Bad BreadBishop Andrewes.Luke 4:3
Better than BreadBishop Hacker.Luke 4:3
Certitude of SalvationBishop Hacket.Luke 4:3
CrystallizationDean Stanley.Luke 4:3
Faith AssaultedD. Dyke.Luke 4:3
First, Shipwreck of Faith, Then of ObedienceBishop Andrewes.Luke 4:3
God not Served for Temporal ProfitBishop Hacker.Luke 4:3
HereafterBishop Hacker.Luke 4:3
How Many Sins the Devil Couched and Infolded in This OneD. Dyke.Luke 4:3
Joy and Comfort Ruined by DoubtBishop Hacket.Luke 4:3
Life not a NecessityH. Wace, D. D.Luke 4:3
Stones Turned into BreadD. Dyke.Luke 4:3
That Where Satan Carries on a Main Design and End He Bestows Most of His Pains and Skill in Rendering the Means to that End Plausible and TakingR. Gilpin.Luke 4:3
The Aim of Satanic Temptation not Always ApparentD. Dyke.Luke 4:3
The Beginning of TemptationCanon Vernon Hutton, M. A.Luke 4:3
The Devil's BreadBishop Hacker.Luke 4:3
The Devil's PrefaceC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 4:3
The Eye to Look to HeavenBishop Hacker.Luke 4:3
The First AssaultW. Landels, D. D.Luke 4:3
The First TemptationA. M. Fairbairn, D. D.Luke 4:3
The Force of an IfDean Bagot., Robert Robinson.Luke 4:3
The Plea of NecessityR. Gilpin., R. Gilpin.Luke 4:3
These StonesArchdeacon Farrar.Luke 4:3
The Temptation of ChristR.M. Edgar Luke 4:1-13
An ExampleBishop Hacker.Luke 4:2-4
Christ not Harmed by TemptationH. Wonnacott.Luke 4:2-4
Christ Tempted with GoodG. Macdonald, LL. D.Luke 4:2-4
Christ Tempted, Yet SinlessArch. bishop Trench.Luke 4:2-4
Christians TemptedBishop Hacker.Luke 4:2-4
Christ's Antipathy Against SinD. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
Christ's Conflict and OursJ. J. Van Oosterzee, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
Comfort from Christ's TemptationRautenberg.Luke 4:2-4
Distress Favourable to TemptationBishop Andrewes.Luke 4:2-4
Face to Face with SatanW. Arthur, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
FastingA. B. Grosart, LL. D.Luke 4:2-4
FastingBishop Cowper.Luke 4:2-4
Fasting a Source of TrialJ. H. Newman, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
FastingsF. W. Krummacher, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
Fire in UsBishop Andrewes.Luke 4:2-4
Good Christians Tempted MostD. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
How Should the Tempter Ever have Thought of Tempting with Any Hope of Overcoming the Son of GodA. B. Grosart, LL. D.Luke 4:2-4
Lessons from Our Lord's TemptationBishop S. Wilberforce.Luke 4:2-4
Let Us not Aid Our AccuserA. Farindon, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
Meaning of TemptJ. Owen, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
Oil Taken from the LampBishop Hacker.Luke 4:2-4
Reasons for the FastBishop Cowper.Luke 4:2-4
Satan a RealityBishop Hacker.Luke 4:2-4
Satan a TempterR. Gilpin.Luke 4:2-4
Satan Adapts His TemptationsCaryl.Luke 4:2-4
Satan Invades Holy DutiesBishop Andrewes.Luke 4:2-4
Satan is Sometime Incessant in TemptationsH. Gilpin.Luke 4:2-4
TemptationC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 4:2-4
TemptationA. B. Grosart, LL. D.Luke 4:2-4
Temptation a CorrectiveBishop Hacker.Luke 4:2-4
Temptation Associated with Sinless InferiorityD. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
Temptation SanctifiedBishop Hacker.Luke 4:2-4
Temptations Adapted to Temperament and ConditionD. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
Temptations in YouthH. Wonnacott.Luke 4:2-4
Temptations IncessantD. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
Tempted Like as We AreW. M. Taylor, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
Tempter and AccuserBishop Cowper.Luke 4:2-4
The Best of Men not Exempt from TemptationLuke 4:2-4
The Design of Christ's TemptationBishop Andrewes.Luke 4:2-4
The Design of the Three TemptationsF. Godet, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
The Devil a Living FoeA. B. Grosart, LL. D.Luke 4:2-4
The Devil the Accuser and Defamer of GodA. Farindon, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
The Devil the Architect of EvilLuke 4:2-4
The Devil's Real Character DisclosedM. Faber.Luke 4:2-4
The Existence of Evil SpiritsJames Foote, M. A.Luke 4:2-4
The Fasting and Temptation of JesusH. Bushnell, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
The General Elements of the TemptationsCaleb Morris.Luke 4:2-4
The Hour of Triumph is the Hour of TemptationD. Parker Morgan, M. A.Luke 4:2-4
The Nature of Satan's TemptationR. Gilpin.Luke 4:2-4
The Nature of the Three TemptationsCaleb Morris.Luke 4:2-4
The Reality of Our Lord's Contest with SatanBishop S. Wilberforce.Luke 4:2-4
The Secret of VictoryCaleb Morris.Luke 4:2-4
The Temptation of ChristBishop S. Wilberforce.Luke 4:2-4
The Temptation of the FleshW. Clarkson Luke 4:2-4
The Three TemptationsH. Wace, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
The Wicked .Free Frets TemptationD. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
Typical TemptationsJ. J. Van Oosterzee, D. D.Luke 4:2-4
We Will ConsiderCaleb Morris.Luke 4:2-4
Why Christ Would Submit to be TemptedR. Gilpin.Luke 4:2-4
Why is He Called the Devil?D. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
Why was Christ Tempted?D. Dyke.Luke 4:2-4
There can be no question as to the reality of the temptation. Without contending for the strictly literal sense of the passage, we do maintain that the temptation was a very real thing to our Lord. It constituted a serious struggle through which he went, out of which he came forth victorious, by passing through which he was our Exemplar. We cannot afford to lose this aspect of his life, this view of our Lord himself; but we must beware lest we do; for "if we shrink from believing that he really felt the force of temptation... we make that Divine life a mere mimic representation of griefs that were not real, and surprises that were feigned, and sorrows that were theatrical. But thus we lose the Savior." It was a real conflict that is here depicted; and the first stage of it was that through which we have all, in our time, to pass - the stern contest with the temptation of the flesh.

I. THE SEVERITY OF THE TEMPTATION. "He hungered" after long fasting. Hunger, in its severer forms, is unknown to us. In a country like this we have no experience of it. We can only judge of it from the testimony of those who have endured it; and, thus judging, we are sure that it is a very urgent, imperious, almost irresistible craving. The extremities and inhumanities to which it has driven men who are not naturally inhuman tell their own tale with terrible force. Our Master was suffering, we may well believe, from the most severe pangs of want. There were stones of the size and color of such a loaf as he would have given everything (it would be right to give) to obtain. By an easy exertion of his miraculous power he could turn the one into the other. Why not do so? Because to do that would be to take himself out of the hands of that heavenly Father to whose care he was committed, and manifest distrust in his providential goodness. Or because to do so would be to employ his Divine power first on his own behalf, instead of using it, as on the occasion of its first exercise it behoved him to employ it, on behalf of others. Or because to do that would be to give present and bodily cravings precedence of the great concerns of the kingdom of God. For some such reason our Lord thought that it would be wrong or, at any rate, undesirable for him to act on the suggestion, and he forbore. Temptation of the fleshly kind comes to us in the shape of hunger, or thirst, or sexual passion.

1. These trials of our moderation and self-government are more or less severe according to

(1) our temperament and

(2) our circumstances.

2. They may lead us into errors and evils which are

(1) mistakes to be avoided; or

(2) indiscretions to be condemned and regretted, and, of course, forsaken; or

(3) vices and sins which are shameful and deadly,

which stain the conscience, which ruin the reputation, which lead down to swift destruction.

II. THE WAY OF VICTORY. When the hour of conflict comes we must gird ourselves for the fight; and though the peril may be great because the enemy is strong, yet have we great resources, and there is no reason why we should not win the battle. We should call to our help our regard for:

1. The will of God as revealed in his Word; that "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," should be at hand with us as it was with our great Leader: "It is written."

2. The penalty of disobedience - a very heavy one in its ultimate issues.

3. The example of our Divine Master, calmly putting aside the false suggestion, preferring to suffer rather than to sin.

4. The consideration that sin excludes us from other and higher blessings. Better far, in the thought of Christ, to rest in bodily hunger, committing himself to the faithfulness of the holy Father. And how much better than any physical enjoyment is the satisfaction of spirit which attends purity and piety! Not the bread of bodily comfort, but the sense of God's abiding favor, the continuance of the friendship of Christ, the cherishing of a heavenly hope, - that is the good thing to prize and to pursue. - C.







If Thou be the Son of God.
Satan knows how to write prefaces: here is one. He began the whole series of his temptations by a doubt cast upon our Lord's Sonship, and a crafty quotation from Scripture. He caught up the echo of the Father's word at our Lord's baptism, and began tempting where heavenly witness ended. He knew how to discharge a double-shotted temptation, and at once to suggest doubt and rebellion — " If" "command."

I. THE TEMPTER ASSAILS WITH AN "IF."

1. Not with point-blank denial. That would be too startling. Doubt serves the Satanic purpose better than heresy.

2. He grafts his "if" on a holy thing. He makes the doubt look like holy anxiety concerning Divine Sonship.

3. He "ifs" a plain Scripture. "Thou art My Son" (Psalm 2:7).

4. He "ifs " a former manifestation. At His baptism God said, "This is My beloved Son." Satan contradicts our spiritual experience.

5. He "ifs" a whole life. From the first Jesus had been about His Father's business; yet after thirty years His Sonship is questioned.

6. He "ifs" inner consciousness. Our Lord knew that He was the Father's Son; but the evil one is daring.

7. He "ifs" a perfect character. Well may he question us, whose faults are so many.

II. THE TEMPTER AIMS THE " IF" AT A VITAL PART.

1. At our sonship. In our Lord's case he attacks His human and Divine Sonship. In our case he would make us doubt our regeneration.

2. At our childlike spirit. He tempts us to cater for ourselves.

3. At our Father's honour. He tempts us to doubt our Father's providence, and to blame Him for letting us hunger.

4. At our comfort and strength as members of the heavenly family.

III. THE TEMPTER SUPPORTS THAT "IF" WITH CIRCUMSTANCES.

1. YOU are alone. Would a father desert his child?

2. You are in a desert. Is this the place for God's Heir?

3. You are with the wild beasts. Wretched company for a Son of God I

4. You are an hungered. How can a loving Father let His perfect Son hunger? Put all these together, and the tempter's question comes home with awful force to one who is hungry and alone. When we see others thus tried, do we think them brethren? Do we not question their sonship, as Job's friends questioned him? What wonder if we question ourselves!

IV. WHEN OVERCOME, THE TEMPTER'S "IF" IS HELPFUL.

1. As coming from Satan, it is a certificate of our true descent.

(1)He only questions truth: therefore we are true sons.

(2)He only leads sons to doubt their sonship: therefore we are sons.

2. As overcome, it may be a quietus to the enemy for years. It takes the sting out of man's questionings and suspicions; for if we have answered the devil himself we do not fear men.

3. As past, it is usually the prelude to angels coming and ministering to us.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

What force there is often in a single monosyllable! What force, for instance, in the monosyllable "if," with which this artful address begins! It was employed by Satan, for the purpose of insinuating into the Saviour's mind a doubt of His being in reality the special object of His Father's care, and it was pronounced by him, as we may well suppose, with a cunning and malignant emphasis. How different is the use which Jesus makes of this word "if" in those lessons of Divine instruction and heavenly consolation, which He so frequently delivered to His disciples when He was on earth l He always employed it to inspire confidence; never to excite distrust. Take a single instance of this: "If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" What a contrast between this Divine remonstrance and the malicious insinuation of the great enemy of God and man!

(Dean Bagot.)Oh, this word "if"! Oh, that I could tear it out of my heart! O thou poison of all my pleasures! Thou cold icy hand, that touchest me so often, and freezest me with the touch! "If! I!"

(Robert Robinson.)

I. The first step towards God is faith in Him and His love. The first step away from Him is doubt. Therefore the devil begins all temptation by seeking to inspire the human soul with doubt. He sought to make Eve doubt God's loving purpose towards her by his "Yea, hath God said?"

II.

1. How often are we tempted to doubt God's love! Especially is this the case when we are left for a time without any sensible tokens of His presence.

2. How shall we meet this temptation? By reliance on the Word and the promise of God. Is there not in His Word food for the hungry, solace for the lonely, comfort for the desponding?

(Canon Vernon Hutton, M. A.)

The end is least in mention, and the means in their fit contrivance takes up most of his art and care. The reasons whereof are these —(1) The end is apparently bad, so that it would be a contradiction to his design to mention it. It is the snare and trap itself, which his wisdom and policy directs him to cover. His ultimate end is the destruction of the soul. This he dare not openly avouch to the vilest of men.(2) The means to such wicked ends have not only an innate and natural tendency in themselves, which are apt to sway and bias men that way, but are also capable of artificial improvement, to a further enticement to the evils secretly intended; and these require the art and skill for the exact suiting and fitting of them.(3) The means are capable of a varnish and paint. He can make a shift to set them off and colour them over, that the proper drift of them cannot easily be discovered; whereas the ends to which these lead cannot receive, at least so easily with some, such fair shows. It is far easier to set off company-keeping, with the pleasurable pretences of necessity or refreshing divertisement, than to propound direct drunkenness, the thing to which company-keeping tends, under such a dress. If it be demanded, How and by what arts he renders the means so plausible? I shall endeavour a satisfaction to that query, by showing the way that Satan took to render the means he made use of in this temptation plausible to Christ, which were these:(1) He represents it as a harmless or lawful thing in itself. Who can say it had been sinful for the Son of God to have turned stones into bread, more than to turn water into wine?(2) He gives the motion a further pretext of advantage or goodness. He insinuated that it might be a useful discovery of His Sonship, and a profitable supply against hunger.(3) He seems also to put a necessity upon it, that other ways of help failing, He must be constrained so to do, or to suffer further want.(4) He forgets not to tell Him that to do this was but suitable to His condition, and that it was a thing well becoming the Son of God to do a miracle.(5) He doth urge it at the rate of a duty, and that being in hunger and want, it would be a sinful neglect not to do what He could and might for His preservation.

(R. Gilpin.)

The devil here seeing Him in great want and hunger, would thereby bring in doubt, that He was not the Son of God, which is not a good argument. For whether we respect the natural tokens of God's favour, we see they happen not to the wisest and men of best and greatest knowledge, as appeareth in Ecclesiastes 9:11, or the supernatural favour of God. We shall see Abraham forced to fly his country into Egypt for famine (Genesis 10:12). So did Isaac (Genesis 26:1). And Jacob likewise was in the same distress (Genesis 43:1). Notwithstanding that God was called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet were they all three like to be hunger-starved. Yea, not only so, but for their faith many were burned and stoned, of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11:37). So fared it with the apostles; they were hungry, naked, and athirst (1 Corinthians 4:11).

(Bishop Andrewes.)

Hope, joy, peace, thankfulness, repentance, obedience, prayer, patience, worship — all these will vanish away like a morning mist before the sun if the devil can make you distrust with such a temptation as this, "If thou," &c.

(Bishop Hacket.)

1. That the Holy Ghost doth beget a true and an humble assurance in many of the faithful touching the remission of their sins in this life.

2. The Holy Ghost doth beget this assurance in them, by causing them to examine what good fruits they have produced already from a lively faith, and do resolve to produce thereafter.

3. This comfortable assurance is not the formal act of justifying faith, but an effect which follows it.

4. This assurance is not alike in all that are regenerate, nor at all times alike.

5. No mortified humble Christian must despair, or afflict his heart, because scruples arise in his mind, so that he cannot attain to a strong confidence or assurance in Christ's mercies. He that can attain but to a conjectural hope, or some beginnings of gracious comfort, shall be blessed before God, who will not quench the smoking flax.

(Bishop Hacket.)

Every tree doth not shoot out its root so far as another, and yet may be firm in the ground, and live as well as that whose root is largest. So every faith streteheth not forth the arms of particular assurance to embrace Christ alike, and yet it may be a true faith, that lives by charity, repentance, and good works; some faith abounds with one sort of fruits, some with another. God is delighted with all that are good, and He will reward them. In all kind of Divine conclusions some are more doubtful spirited than others.

(Bishop Hacket.)

We see it is the devil's endeavour to call into question the truth of God's Word. God had said, "Thou art My Son," and now he comes with his "If Thou be the Son of God." In the Word of God there be specially three things —

1. Commandments.

2. Threatenings.

3. Promises.Secondly, faith is the very life of our lives, and the strength of our souls, without which we are but very drudges and droils in this life. "The Holy Ghost fill you with all joy in believing" (Romans 15:13). "And believing, ye rejoiced with joy glorious and unspeakable" (1 Peter 1:8). Therefore the devil, envying our comfort and our happiness, would rob us of our faith, that he might rob us of our joy. Thirdly, faith is our choicest weapon, even our shield and buckler to fight against him, "whom resist steadfast in the faith" (1 Peter 5:9). Therefore, as the Philistines got away the Israelites' weapons, so doth Satan, in getting away faith from us, disarm us and make us naked. "For this is our victory whereby we overcome, even our faith" (1 John 5.). And in this faith apprehending God's strength lies our strength, as Samson's in his locks; and, therefore, the devil, knowing this, labours to do to us which Delilah did to Samson, even to cut off our locks.

(D. Dyke.)

If any man should be used like a dog, or a bear, yet as long as he sees human shape and discerns the use of human reason in himself, he would still, for all this usage, think himself to be a man. So though the children of God be used here in this world as if they were wicked, yet as long as they feel the work of grace, and the power of God's Spirit, they must still hold themselves to be God's children.

(D. Dyke.)

This stone bread
That Satan usually endeavours to run his temptations upon the plea of necessity, and from thence to infer a duty. The reasons of this policy are these:

1. He knows that necessity hath a compulsive force, even to things of otherwise greatest abhorrencies.

2. Necessity can do much to the darkening of the understanding, and change of the judgment, by the strong influence it hath upon the affections. Men are apt to form their apprehensions according to the dictates of necessity.

3. Necessity offers an excuse, if not a justification, of the greatest miscarriages.

4. Necessity is a universal plea, and fitted to the conditions of all men in all callings, and under all extravagancies. The tradesman, in his unlawful gains or overreachings, pleads a necessity for it from the hardness of the buyer in other things.We may observe three cheats in this plea of necessity.

1. Sometimes he puts men upon feigning a necessity where there is none.

2. Sometimes he puts men upon a necessity of their own sinful procurement.

3. Sometimes he stretcheth a necessity further than it ought. This must warn us not to suffer ourselves to be imposed upon by the highest pretences of necessity.

(R. Gilpin.)To open this a little further, I shall add the reasons why Satan strikes in with such an occasion as the want of means to tempt to distrust, which are these: —

1. Such a condition doth usually transport men beside themselves.

2. Sense is a great help to faith. Faith, then, must needs be much hazarded when sense is at a loss or contradicted, as usually it is in straits. That faith doth receive an advantage by sense, cannot be denied. But when out. ward usual helps fail us, our sense, being not able to see afar off, is wholly puzzled and overthrown. The very disappearing of probabilities gives so great a shake to our faith that it commonly staggers at it. It is no wonder to see that faith, which usually called sense for a supporter, to fail when it is deprived of its crutch.

3. Though faith can act above sense, and is employed about things not seen, yet every saint at all times doth not act his faith so high.

4. When sense is nonplussed, and faith fails, the soul of man is at a great loss. The other branch of the observation, that from a distrust of providence he endeavours to draw them to an unwarrantable attempt for their relief, is as clear as the former.That from a distrust men are next put upon unwarrantable attempts, is clear from the following reasons:

1. The affrightment which is bred by such distrusts of providences will not suffer men to be idle. Fear is active, and strongly prompts that something is to be done.

2. Yet such is the confusion of men's minds in such a ease, that though many things are propounded, in that hurry of thoughts they are deprived usually of a true judgment and deliberation.

3. The despairing grievance of spirit makes them take that which comes next to hand, as a drowning man that grasps a twig or straw, though to no purpose.

4. Being once turned off their rock, and the true stay of the promise of God for help, whatever other course they take must needs be unwarrantable.

5. Satan is so officious in an evil thing, that seeing any in this condition, he will not fail to proffer his help; and in place of God's providence, to set some unlawful shift before them.

6. And so much the rather do men close in with such overtures, because a sudden fit of passionate fury doth drive them, and out of a bitter kind of despite and crossness — as if they meditated a revenge against God for their disappointment — they take up a hasty wilful resolve to go that way that seems most agreeable to their passion.Application: Failures or ordinary means should not fill us with distrust, neither then should we run out of God's way for help. He that would practise this must have these three things which are comprehended in it.

1. He must have full persuasions of the power and promise of God.

2. He that would thus wait upon God had need to have an equal balance of spirit in reference to second causes.

3. There is no waiting upon God, and keeping His way, without a particular trust in God. But let the strait be what it will, we must not forsake duty; for so we go out of God's way, and do contradict that trust and hope which we are to keep up to God-ward. But there are other cases wherein it is our duty to fix our trust upon the particular mercy or help. I shall name four; and possibly a great many more may be added. As —

1. When mercies are expressly and particularly promised.

2. When God leads us into straits by engaging us in His service.

3. When the things we want are common universal blessings,, and such as we cannot subsist without.

4. When God is eminently engaged for our help, and His honour lies at stake in that very matter.

(R. Gilpin.)

How many are there that turn, not stones into bread, but lies, flatteries, base shifts, into silver and gold, yea, jewels and precious stones? Others turn stones, yea, precious stones, and their whole substance into bread, into meats, drinks, and apparel, and wastefully lavish God's good creatures on idle backs and bellies, using this as a means to procure something their affections want.

(D. Dyke.)

It teaches us not to measure actions by the outward appearance. What a matter is it to eat bread when one is hungry? but we see what a matter it would have been here in Christ. A little pin, specially being poisoned, may prick mortally, as well as a great sword. Adam's eating the fruit seems a small matter to flesh and blood, which wonders that so small a pin should wound all mankind to the death. But Adam's sin was not simply the eating of the apple, but the eating of the apple forbidden by God. There was the deadly poison of that little pin. And there also the devil so handled the matter, that all the commandments were broken in that one action. As the first table in his infidelity, doubting both of God's truth and goodness, contempt of, and rebellion against God, preferring of Satan before God, and in the profanation of that fruit he ate, which was a sacrament. And for the second table, he broke the fifth commandment, in his unthankfulness to God his Father, that gave him his being, and had bestowed so many blessings upon him. The sixth in the murder of himself and all his posterity, body and soul. The seventh in his intemperancy. The eighth in touching another's goods against the will of the Lord. The ninth in receiving the devil's false witness against God. The tenth in being discontent with his estate, and lusting after an higher. Take we heed now of the deceit of sin. It shows little sometimes, but oh the bundle of mischief that is lapped up in that little!

(D. Dyke.)

Like a waterman, he looks one way and rows another. The special thing he shot at, indeed, was to make Christ call in question the truth of that oracle that sounded at Jordan, to think through unbelief that He was not the Son of God. But yet the words of the temptation seem to import that he sought only the working of the miracle. And yet the devil would rather a great deal He would never work the miracle, so He would doubt Himself not to be the Son of God. For this would have been the greater foil. This discloses to us one of Satan's mysteries. Sometimes he will tempt us to some sin, to which yet he cares not much whether we yield or no, hoping to get a greater conquest of us by not yielding. As thus, when by not yielding we grow proud, vain-glorious, secure, confident; wherein the devil seems to deal like a cunning gamester, that hides his skill, and loses two or three games at the first, that he may win so much the more afterwards.

(D. Dyke.)

If every good Christian were satisfied at all times with temporal blessings, we should appear to serve God for our own profit, that we might lack nothing which concerned this transitory life.

(Bishop Hacker.)

God doth not suppeditate bread always to him that is His son, that he may loathe this world, and look for a recompense for all this misery, not among these hard-hearted generations of men, but among the habitations of the blessed.

(Bishop Hacker.)

It is my turn to want for awhile, I shall be replenished hereafter.

(Bishop Hacker.)

Though a good man labour and watch, and cannot earn the bread of his carefulness, yet he shall fill his bosom with better fruits, for occasion is given hereby to the righteous to exercise these three spiritual graces, Prayer, and Patience, and Charity.

(Bishop Hacker.)

There are others under these, indeed, yet of a most vile condition, that eat their bread by wrongful dealing, when it is grounded with the devil's millstones; and according to Aristotle, my former director, these may be ranged into three sorts: Such as maintain themselves with no calling, such as use a bad calling, and such as cheat in a good calling. We must eat our bread by prayer to God, and good employment in the world, that is, by the duty of invocation, and by the fruits of our vocation; therefore he that fills up no place or part in a commonwealth to earn his gains must needs take the devil's counsel to live by unjust means, command that these stones be made bread.

(Bishop Hacker.)

— By extortion and usury we may make stones into bread, that is the devil's alchemistry: or haply we may make bread of nothing, when a man gets a thing by another's oversight (Genesis 43:12). Or else, what and if we can overreach our brother in subtilty, and go beyond him with a trick of wit or cunning t "Let no man defraud or oppress his brother in any matter: for the Lord is avenged of all such" (1 Thessalonians 4:6). The one is called" the bread of violence and oppression" (Proverbs 4:17); the other, "the bread of deceit."

(Bishop Andrewes.)

Though in form sensuous, it is in essence moral or spiritual. What constituted it a temptation-where lay its evil? Christ had to live His personal life(1) within the limits necessary to man, and(2) in perfect dependence upon God. Had He transgressed either of these conditions, He had ceased to be man's ideal Brother or God's ideal Son. His supernatural power existed not for Himself, but for us. The ideal Son could not act as if He had no Father. He conquered by faith, and His first victory was like His last. The taunts He had to bear on the cross — " He saved others, Himself He cannot save," &c. — were but a repetition of the earlier temptations; and then, as now, though the agony was deeper, and the darkness more dense, He triumphed by giving Himself into the hands of the Father.

(A. M. Fairbairn, D. D.)

I. THE SATANIC SUGGESTION. TO have complied with it would have been a violation of what, on reflection, appeared to Jesus to be the Father's will.

II. THE REPLY OF OUR LORD — "It is written, man shall not live," &c. This reply —

1. Disposes most effectually of all the arguments which are commonly urged in defence of modern excesses.

2. Points to man's higher nature as his distinguishing possession.

3. Teaches that man is not dependent on bread or material sustenance even for his lower life, but on the sustaining Word of God.

(W. Landels, D. D.)

In excuse for some offence against the moral law, it was said to our great English moralist of the last century: "A man must live." "Sir," said Dr. Johnson, "I do not see the necessity." That was the Stoic form of the principle enunciated in our Lord's reply, but our Lord invests it with an infinitely higher character by expressing it in the gracious tones of the gospel. It was true in the highest sense that a man must live; but his life does not consist in the mere gratification of his bodily cravings, or even the natural desires of his mind and heart, or even in his life here. The essential life of his nature consists in his living and acting in harmony with the will of God.

(H. Wace, D. D.)

The temptation was shrewdly contrived to meet the peculiar circumstances. Remember that the desert and the Dead Sea, lying in the basin of the barren hills, were a figure of the desolation brought on the world by sin, and that probably our Lord, from the wilderness, looked over this picture of death, and saw in it a figure of the scene of His moral operation. Now Satan steals up to Him, holding out a dead stone, and asks Him to begin His work by transforming that stone. As He is about to make the desert fruitful, and the wilderness blossom as a rose, and the Sea of Death become a lake of living water, let Him begin His work symbolically, with a stone of this district. Very probably the temptation was not to turn the piece of black stone into white wheaten bread, but into the homely, hard rye, black bread, which nourishes, but is no dainty. On the way to Jericho, and, indeed, all around the Dead Sea, are to be found in chalk beds, masses of flint, of rounded shape, which the Arabs suppose to be the olives, apples, melons, and other fruit of the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, which, at the overthrow of the cities, were turned into stone. Some of these stones have the size and shape of loaves, and it is possible that Satan took one of these rounded masses of flint, and, with his undercurrent of bitterness and scorn, offered it to Christ, supposing Him to share the popular superstition about them. If we may expand his words, they ran thus: "See this loaf-like flint stone! No doubt it was once bread in one of the houses of Sodom, but God overthrew the wicked city, and the bread was turned into stone. Now, O Son of God — that is, if you are the Son of God — as you have come to undo the work of destruction wrought by sin, and to bring life into a world subject to death, show your power on this stone, and turn it back into the loaf of bread which it once was."

(S. Baring-Gould, M. A.)

They were, perhaps, those siliceous accretions, sometimes known under the name of lapides judaici, which assume the exact shape of little loaves of bread, and which were represented in legend as the petrified fruits of the cities of the plain. The pangs of hunger work all the more powerfully when they are stimulated by the added tortures of a quick imagination; and if the conjecture be correct, then the very shape and aspect and traditional origin of these stones would give to the temptation an added force.

(Archdeacon Farrar.)

The stones called "Elijah's melons," on Mount Carmel, and "the Virgin Mary's peas," near Bethlehem, are instances of crystallization well known in limestone formations. They are so called as being the supposed produce of these two plats turned into stone, from the refusal of the owners to supply the wants of the prophet and the saint.

(Dean Stanley.)

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