Matthew 4:11
Remark on these representations of Scripture, and remark on them as the representations of Scripture, that -

I. THE THRICE-DENIED SATAN IS DAUNTED, AND LEAVES OFF AWHILE AT LEAST HIS TEMPTING. Contrast this with the thrice-denied Jesus (Luke 22:61), not then daunted, but with an intense love recalling Peter by a look.

II. THE NEED OF CHRIST WAS A REAL NEED. The "ministry" given now to him was probably in answer both to

(1) his bodily exhaustion by hunger, and

(2) his soul's weariness - a weariness not resulting from any supposed severity in the shape of struggle to overcome temptation, but from the" exceeding trouble" of the aspect of sin, of the presumptuous challenge of sin coming so near, and of the inevitable ruffle of perfect purity under the mere glare of the incarnation of impurity and evil.

III. THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS IS A FACT, AND THE KNOWN GRANT OF SUCH MINISTRY AT DIFFERENT TIMES TO MEN IS ALL THAT IS NOW PROFFERED TO CHRIST HIMSELF!

1. This instance of fact, with a hundred others, helps to corroborate our information as to the reality of Christ's humanity.

2. It is a fresh conviction for all of the watchful unforgettingness of supreme sympathy and divinest compassion.

3. It should greatly help to dignify our sense of the value and the adaptedness of the help and the solace vouchsafed to us, of the conflict, anxiety, vexation, and the irritation of a contact with the world, from which we should so often prefer to be saved, if things were left to our choice.

4. It may well be accepted as the expression and earnest of the calm after all storm is over, and the Divine feeding and succour after all work, trial, life's-length duty are laid down for the last time on earth. - B.







The devil leaveth him.
I. Satan's departure ON THE SIDE OF CHRIST. Christ had repelled Satan in the third temptation in quite a different way from that in the previous contests (Luke 4:8). A coercive and indignant dismissal.

II. Satan also WITHDREW WILLINGLY. He had exhausted his temptations. All the varied forms of temptation are reduceable to three — pride, avarice, and sensuality. Three root-passions (1 John 2:16). So Christ tempted in all points as we are. Had Satan remained he had no more weapons to try. At the fitting moment Christ revealed His hatred of sin. This overthrow was a new experience.

III. How far this WITHDRAWAL WAS TEMPORARY. Satan returned in the Passion, but indirectly through others. He entered into Judas.

(W. H. Hutchings, M. A.)

They are like languages which, though many, are divided into groups or families, and are traceable to a few primitive sources.

(W. H. Hutchings, M. A.)

Thus it may prove with us as with the oyster, which stops with a precious pearl the hole in its shell which was originally a disease; as with the broken limb, which having been set, may be stronger than if it never had been broken. It may fare with us as islanders of the Southern Ocean fancy that it fares with them; counting, as they do, that the strength and valour of the warrior whom they have slain in battle passes into themselves as their rightful inheritance. The strength which lay in the temptation has shifted its seat, and passed over into the man who has overcome the temptation.

(R. C. Trench.)

In the old Roman times, there was a great Roman general to whom one of his soldiers said: "Oh! the enemy are so many. We are not half so many as the enemy! The enemy is twice as many as we are." The general said to him, "How many do you count me for?" Do you understand? There are "more with us than there are against us." Jesus is with us. How many do you count Him for?

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

1. It was complete.

2. It was not final.

3. It was the precursor of ether victories, even that of the cross.

4. He has not endured one temptation more than was necessary.

5. The propriety of the prayer, "Lead us not into temptation."

6. It was obtained through self-sacrifice.

7. It supplies an antidote to doubt and despair.

8. It was watched in heaven.

(L. H. Wiseman.)

Angels came.
1. Thoughts.

2. Friends.

3. Children.

4. Books.

5. Flowers.

1. To congratulate Christ after His victory.

2. From a disinterested love of us.

3. Because of their love for Christ.

4. To honour God.

5. To teach us the dignity of human nature when faithful in temptation.

6. Christ by this victory had formed a fresh link with the angels — they had passed through trial.

7. Human nature stands between heavenly and Satanic influences.

(W. H. Hatchings, M. A.)

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