Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 192

Christ Proved That We Can Keep the Commandments, July 4

If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Matthew 4:3.

If His divine nature had not been clothed with the garb of humanity, Christ could not have associated with the fallen race and have become their Redeemer. It was necessary for Him to know the power of all our temptations, to pass through all the trials and afflictions that we are called to pass through, in order to be indeed a Saviour.... Satan, the powerful foe who had been turned out of heaven, had long claimed to have dominion on the earth, and Christ came to conquer this foe, in order that we might, through divine grace, also obtain the victory over the enemy of our souls. Standing at the head of humanity, Christ by His perfect obedience demonstrated to the universe that human beings could keep the commandments of God.

Under all circumstances—whether in prosperity or in adversity, whether received or rejected, whether at the marriage feast or suffering the pangs of hunger—Christ remained faithful to every precept of God's law, and wrought out for our example a perfect life. He has endured every hardship that comes to the poor and afflicted. Without sin He has suffered weariness and hunger. He understands every inconvenience to which we may be put. From childhood to manhood He stood the test of obedience.

When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God. He did not invite temptation. He went into the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission and work. By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the bloodstained path He must travel. But Satan knew that the Saviour had gone into the wilderness, and he thought this was the best time to approach Him. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, Christ's “visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Now was Satan's opportunity. Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ.

The first temptation was on the point of appetite. There came to the Saviour, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel from heaven. He claimed to have a commission from God to declare that Christ's fast was at an end. The Saviour was faint from hunger; He was craving for food when Satan came suddenly upon Him. Pointing to the stones that strewed the desert, and that had the appearance of loaves of bread, the tempter said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”—Manuscript 155, 1902 (Sermons and Talks, 2:217, 218).

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