Bread, power, and glory. Why are these the three temptations Jesus Christ faced? What can they teach us about His character?
"Perhaps the most powerful lesson is that in the end, Jesus does do each of these three things, not for his own selfish purposes, but instead to bless the lives of others," a new video created by Daniel Smith from Messages of Christ explains. The video explains the significance and symbolism behind each of these three temptations. For example, Satan tempts Jesus to transform stones into bread. We learn later in the scriptures that Christ does have the power to miraculously produce bread, but He reserves it for those times when He can bless others. And our Savior, the "bread of life," continually extends miraculous and soul-saving sustenance to each of us so that we may obtain eternal life.
About Satan's temptation that Jesus throw himself from the pinnacle of the temple so that the angels would bear him up, scriptural scholar Dr. Taylor Halverson explains that Herod the Great received his epithet because he initiated a "building spree" throughout the Holy Land, including expanding the temple.
"Incredibly, when Herod’s expansion and refurbishment of the temple was complete, the Jewish temple was the largest religious structure anywhere in the Roman empire," Halverson says. "Imagine the viral storytelling that would have ripped through the Jewish society if Jesus had jumped from the most public and visible location anywhere in the Holy Land, the very location where each day Jews were called to remember the saving acts of God." (Learn more about the symbolism behind this location here.)
By leaping from the largest religious structure in the empire with angels round about Him, Jesus would have immediately received glory and acclaim, but instead, He chose to serve in humility, bringing God's word and love to others in personalized ways.
"All that the Savior ever did and still does today is to bless each one of us, showing us that true power and glory comes from serving others," the video by Daniel Smith explains.