Overcoming Temptation

STUDIED in the light of Christian Science, the record of Jesus' baptism and temptation, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew, is wonderfully helpful. Following immediately after his baptism by John, "the heavens were opened unto him," and he heard "a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." He had a vision of man's real selfhood,—the perfect reflection of the perfect Father-Mother, God. The narrative then goes on to relate how he was immediately "led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil," evil.

In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 597) Mrs. Eddy defines "wilderness" in part as follows: "The vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence;" and again, on page 564, she writes, "Since Jesus must have been tempted in all points, he, the immaculate, met and conquered sin in every form." With the newly acquired consciousness of his divine sonship, he had to meet and conquer evil; and it is interesting to note that two out of the three forms of temptation recorded began with the subtle suggestion of flattery, "If thou be the Son of God." With the Word of God, which Paul calls "the sword of the Spirit," Jesus overcome the temptations of evil belief, and then angels—God's messages—"came and ministered unto him."

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