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The word tempt can also mean to test. In that context Strong's lists the primary definitions as: I.to try whether a thing can be done A.to attempt, endeavour II.to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself. We know a large part of the Lord's ministry was dedicated to healing and no doubt he had compassion beyond human comprehension. However, I believe the miraculous healings like his "temptation" in the wilderness served a more important purpose. It was to prove that he truly is the great "I AM". Consider Matthew 4:7 "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." I read over this verse for quite some time before realizing its significance. Who was present? Christ and the devil. Who was Christ claiming to be? "The Lord thy God" Whose Lord and God? Colossians 1:16 "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"
Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, without inheriting the sin nature from the flesh of his ancestors. His life was a second chance for humanity, sent by the Grace of God. Through Him, God's design for man was to begin again, without the defect of sin. Satan saw this and tried his best to corrupt our last hope with the same trickery and deceit he used to ensnare Adam and Eve. During the temptation, Satan tried his worst to trick Jesus into committing sin, just as he had deceived Adam and Eve. But Jesus countered Satan's temptations and lies with wisdom and absolute obedience to the Word of God. Satan even tried quoting Scripture himself, twisting it to try and trick Jesus into faltering, but in every case Jesus answered Satan's invitation to sin by quoting a passage from the Law. Satan's lies were eventually revealed to himself and the devil was put to shame. Jesus denounced Satan for trying to receive worship from Him, shouting "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him." By doing so, Jesus effectively proved He was beyond the devil's reproach and utterly above his temptations. Not even the full offering of the Devil's kingdom could tempt Jesus into worshiping Satan. And Satan would have gladly traded everything he had if he could take Jesus' inheritance from God. With Jesus' renunciation of the devil's blasphemy, Satan's failure was complete. The devil fled, seeking a "more opportune moment". At every opportunity, the devil tested Him by sending people under his control to oppose Jesus' ministry. Yet those "brood of vipers" were put to shame by Jesus every time they questioned Him because of His flawless knowledge of Scripture and insight into the deeper meanings of God's Law. Jesus never capitulated to sin, therefore, the seed of sin that was planted in our ancestors could never take root. Jesus went to His death without sin, the only man ever to do so. It is written "The soul who sins shall die", yet Jesus, being blameless, should not have tasted death. Death was never intended for mankind and was only made possible by Adam and Eve's original sin ("If you eat of the fruit you will surely die") Jesus descended to Earth to die in our place, and by paying the penalty for our sins, set us free from Satan's "kingdom". We are no longer slaves of sin, doomed to die as soon as we're born. We were bought with a ransom, that we might be withdrawn from this prison and spared the destruction coming to the one who imprisons.
There are several points to consider: 1. Satan is the great tempter. We see in Genesis, Job and throughout the Bible that he tempts people to sin and opposes God's plans. 2. Jesus was fully human which means he had all aspects of human nature except for sin as Adam and Eve were before the fall. Therefore, it is only natural for Satan to attack at his human needs: hunger and power. If I were in Satan's shoes, I would've chosen the same moment after the 40 day fast. 3. Satan is not omniscient. This is important because while Satan is very powerful, he does not know all things or shall I say the important things. In fact, God's wisdom is so unfathomable that He uses Satan's works to accomplish His redemptive plans. It was Satan who moved Judas to betray Jesus and worked among the Jewish leaders to crucify him. But more directly to answer the question, Satan did not know the full nature of Christ in his humanity and divinity so he had to do what he can to get Jesus to fall. Hope this helps.
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