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Jesus grew, and woke to mature consciousness as other children do. The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with the wisdom and the grace of God, (the miraculous power,) was upon him. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. His natural life opening developed into manhood; and the command of his divine life, over his natural life, increased, till in Gethsemane its desires were absolutely hushed and the divine will alone was doing.

His ministry was introduced with his baptism, and opened with the temptations in the wilderness. Though Jesus had a natural body, whose powers of life were in sin; in the light of the statement, that though he was made a sin, he knew no sin, we cannot suppose that the springs of his temptations were in him, but merely that through his natural body, Satan reached his pure spirit, to annoy his soul. In the garden of Eden, and in the history of Job it is revealed that Satan enters physical organisms, offering gain to excite selfishness, or he will worry with afflictions, to make men turn away from God.

There is no evidence, that Jesus went into the wilderness to starve his body, that he might weaken the passions in his flesh. Mark says, 'Immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan, and was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered unto him. Luke recording the same says, Jesus, being full of the holy spirit, returned from Jordan, and was led by the spirit into the wilderness, being tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing. Jesus was led by the spirit, that is not by his natural passions, but by impulses in his divine life.

'Luke 2:52. 'Luke 2:40. See Park. Greek Diet, "karis." 'Mark 1:10-13. "Luke 4:1-2.

At the end of these forty days, when Jesus was bodily weak, Satan executed three recorded temptations in succession, and each one rising in intensity over the one which preceded it.

The first temptation was an appeal to the appetite, the passions of the flesh. 10Satan said to Jesus, If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread. There are small silicious stones in that neighborhood, which look like small loaves of bread; and the pains of hunger were stimullated by the added torture of a quickened imagination. All that the drunkard feels from his inflamed stomach, all the sorrows that the poor feel from starvation, were represented in this temptation. Jesus answered Satan, 11 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. There are higher aims for men than to get a living. This is no more than brutes. The divine life in men is their master, and in it their hopes.

The second temptation, according to the order given by Matthew, was the devil taking Jesus up to a pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem, and saying to him. 12If thou be the Son of God cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. To go into danger uncalled-for is presumption, and it cannot reasonably expect divine protection. This is the temptation that religionists fall into trying to demonstrate their superior piety, in doing what it is impossible for others to do. No matter what foolish things people may do, or what

10 Math. 4:3. "Math. 4:4 Math. 4:6.

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senseless ideas they may hold as religious doctrines, Satan will find passages of Scripture to support their position. In view of self-imposed fasts, voluntary pious self-tortures, experiences which are imaginations, and false professions of divine gifts, all in the name of Christianity, is it not a wonder that the Bible is as well received among the people, as it is ? 18 Thou shalt not tempt the Lord Thy God.

The third temptation, is the one into which the mighty men of the world fall. It is the one into which Joseph fell, and the schoolmen, and mighty conquerors, and the church in becoming a strong, influential and wealthy organization, with ministers binding heavy burdens, grievous to be borne, on the shoulders of men; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers, and religious teachers, who love to be called by distinguished titles, and seek the chief seats in the synagogues, while they proclaim the Christ life, and stand before the people as the representatives of the meek and lowly Jesus. In this temptation the devil took Jesus up onto an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, saying; 14All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship

The heathen fell down before their idols and rulers in token of their submission and service. The request here evidently is for Jesus, to conduct his mission by carnal and legal forces, instead of by the holiness of his spirit. The temptation was in line with the popular religious demand of the hour. Of all things, Israel was most anxious to be delivered from the Gentile Roman yoke. The ascension of a son of Abraham, in the line of David, to the throne of the emperor of the world, instead of pagan Tiberius, would have been


13 Math. 4:7. "Math. 4:9.

looked upon as a fulfilment of the prophecy concerning the Messiah, before whom all nations should bow down. Of course Jesus would still have called himself the Son of God, and Satan would have assisted in making his ministry a success. Satan's plan was well laid and the devil had the power to make it a success. Tiberius the Emperor was an old man. It would have been easy for Satan to have hastened his death and timed it so that it would have been, when conditions were ripe for Jesus to have taken his place. He could have weakened the Roman people by corruption, so that Israel with a son of David at their head would easily have conquered them and the world to Judean rule. Though Satan put the world at Jesus' feet the temptation had no effect. The answer was, 15 Get thee hence Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship Jehovah as thy God and him only shalt thou serve. Defeated Satan departed from him for a season.

Though Jesus felt all the temptations in the experiences of men, he met each at the gateway of every motion and drove them back, so that none possessed his mind, nor influenced his unselfish soul. Every temptation passed as trackless over his pure spirit, as the cloud-wreath of a summer day floats over the dome of the blue heavens, whose fair brow it cannot stain. Jesus rose from every temptation stronger for the victory, and better prepared for the conflict that was before him. 16 And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit into Galilee.

Jesus began preaching, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye and believe the gospel. Satan changed the method of his operations, and began stirring the rulers of the people to look upon Jesus, as a blasphemer and exciting unlawful disturbances. Nevertheless

Mark 4:10. 10 Luke 4:1.


he waxed strong and stronger in spirit, as was manifested by the miracles which he wrought. Before he was thirty years of age, he probably did not have the power of working miracles; and when he began his miracles grew in strength till the end of his ministry, manifesting a deepening of sanctification, in his growing power over the creature.

17 His beginning of miracles was at Cana of Galilee, where he turned water into wine at the wedding feast. mother came to him saying, They have no wine. The kindness of his soul moved him to render assistance. He felt the unction of miraclous divine power come upon him and exclaimed, O woman! What is to me and to thee; has mine hour, now come? His mother a true daughter of Abraham, perceived that to her son of holy conception, foretold by prophecy, had come the maturity of divine life. So turning to the servants she said, Whatsoever he says unto you do it. The consequence was, Jesus turned six water pots of water into the best wine that was ever given at a wedding feast. The miracle consisted in doing in an instant, that which takes nature, through the instrumentality of organisms, months to accomplish.

After this he began to heal the sick, to make the lame walk, the blind to see and the deaf to hear. Without doubt, Jesus cured those suffering from nervous disorders, which are frequently relieved by mental suggestion; but in recording the history of his miracles, the evangelists have selected those which are beyond medical skill, or the power of nature to restore.

18Some time after his miracle at Cana, he called the little maid, the daughter of Jarius back to life. This is his first

John 2:1-11. "Math. 9:24-25.

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