Temptation Powerless

Matthew relates in the fourth chapter of his gospel an experience which is of peculiar interest to the Christian Scientist. It is the account of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, wherein is shown the powerlessness of evil to deceive or to dominate God's man; wherein is also revealed the deliverance for humanity consequent upon refusal to consent to evil's plan, when this refusal is based upon spiritual understanding.

First, let us note the situation in which Jesus found himself. He was in the wilderness, which Mrs. Eddy defines on page 597 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" as "loneliness; doubt; darkness." Evil holds such a situation to be propitious for the suggestions of temptation, but no possibility of Jesus' surrender is intimated in connection with the statement that he was to be tempted. When error sought first to gain an admission that man needs something besides spiritual understanding to sustain and comfort him, that sin can be partaken of without harm, and that material possession enriches man, these palpable lies made not an instant's appeal to the consciousness of Jesus, for he already knew through demonstration that man lives by the word of God, that evil cannot tempt man, and that God is the only source of the kingdom's power and glory. To state it quite plainly, Jesus was asked to deny God's allness. This is always error's primal effort and its only chance to become master; but Jesus, knowing that evil does not exist in reality, was not deceived by its pose as a giver of good or of evil.

"Get thee down"
December 14, 1918

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