My study of the scriptures has had a profound effect on my life. As I have studied, I have grown closer to God and found answers to real challenges in my life. This blog is a scripture journal that records insights I have discovered in the past and continue to gain as I search, ponder, and pray.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Matthew 4 Trials after the Covenant

Immediately following Christ's baptism come the recorded account of Christ's temptations. I really believe that Christ was tempted before and after the event in Matthew 4. In order for him to be tested in all points like we are (see Hebrews 4:15), I'm convinced that he suffered temptations his whole ministry. I think the temptations of Satan only intensified as Christ's atonement drew near and was finally completed.

However, the temptations in the wilderness are the only temptations pretty much recorded in the Gospels. It follows that those temptations must have been intense!

The thing that I found highly interesting is that these temptations came right after the Savior's baptism. Once he entered in the covenant, once he entered onto the straight and narrow path through that gate, then he was tested. It is often like that in our lives. Once we have committed, once we have shown the Lord that we are really going to do something he has asked us, Satan comes after us.

For example, I personally know of two bishops who struggled with their employment while they were bishop. Not before. And not after (at least for the one who is released). Many members say that they love having their children on missions because of all the blessings they receive. However, sometimes while my sons were on their missions I felt that we struggled harder in some ways.

Sometimes we are tried before the commitment. Sometimes we are tried after the commitment has been made. I guess it boils down to the fact that we are to be tested. As so many of the prophets have testified, we all need to be tried and tested even as Abraham.

I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't want to be tested as Abraham. That is where I just have to humble myself in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen me through the trial, and trust in his plan for me. I'm not perfect at it, but I know I can always draw upon his strength because he was perfect at resisting all his temptations. I am grateful that he was tested in all points; thus he knows how to succor me in my needs.


  1. Recently as I was studying Hebrews 11:1, I discovered that in Greek the word for "evidence" (ελεγχος) would better be translated "trial." "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the trial of things not seen." (Interesting when you compare this verse to Ether 12:6 -- makes you suspect that Joseph Smith knew what he was talking about). It's not just any trial. My lexicon says it's "a trial in order to prove" something. To me, that makes it sound like "the trial of our faith" may be something we ourselves can instigate, a scientific experiment on our faith. Put x to the test, and see if y results. I'm sure that God gives us trials as well, and that many of those trials involve hardship, but it was encouraging for me to realize that trial and hardship are not necessarily synonymous.

  2. Brett, I really like that! That is a comment that will definitely have to be written in my scriptures.