In reading the story of the temptation in the wilderness, as given in Matthew's Gospel, it is apparent that there were no witnesses to the colloquy between Jesus and Satan, and for this experience to be known it must have been related by Jesus to his disciples. Moreover, as there is no personal devil, Jesus must have used this form of speech to bring vividly to their thought a mental conflict.

The dialogue between Jesus and the devil presents the two opposing points of view,—the human policy of using individual power to subserve the ends of self-aggrandizement, and the spiritual discernment of all power as belonging to God, Spirit, Love, and of man as manifesting power because he expresses the Divine nature.

Jesus was born of the royal tribe of Judah and was in the line of kingly descent, hence his recognition by the Jews as their possible king was natural. Jesus himself was the wisest man who ever lived, and the note of authority in his teachings, his absolute confidence in their truth, shows that not only was he wise, but that he was wise enough to know it. More than this, he was fully conscious of his dominion, of his ability to use his knowledge of the truth to accomplish whatever he undertook.

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September 15, 1906

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