A Cheat-sheet for Jesus’ Testing

Posted on November 27, 2010


To become a “minister” today, the process is first education then ordination. Afterward, a person is qualified to begin his ministry. But in the New Testament, this is not the pattern. In Matthew chapters 3-4, we see Jesus’ pattern before He began His ministry: selection, anointing, and finally, testing. God always tests those whom He selects and anoints.

Whenever God selects and appoints us to do something, He always tests us. Even the Lord Jesus was not an exception. To study this test is very helpful because, in principle, all God’s tests are the same.

Jesus’ first test was to change stones into loaves of bread. This test concerns making a living. If you serve God, how will you make a living? This deeply touches our faith. How can we pass this test? Jesus passed the test by eating. What was He eating? “Every word [rhema] which proceeds out through the mouth of God.” To pass this test, feast on God’s word day after day.

Jesus’ second test was to jump off of the temple wing and be miraculously saved. The significance of this test was that Satan tried to tempt Jesus to show that He was God through a miraculous display of power. In principle, we have all done this many times. We have an idea to do something special, even miraculous, to make a show of ourselves and our talent or spirituality. To overcome this temptation, let others think that you are nothing and Christ is everything. If you take the standing of being a nobody, you defeat the enemy.

The third temptation concerns worldly glory and ambition. Our eagerness to be the leader is our ambition. This is coveting the glory of the world. However, Satan is the one behind our ambition. According to Colossians 3:5, covetousness is idolatry. The root of your ambition is that you have an idol in your heart that replaces God. Therefore, to overcome this temptation, you must remove all idols from your heart.

God’s tests involve our human needs, religious glory, and worldly glory. To pass these tests, you must feast on His word, be a nobody, and remove all idols from your heart. Surely the Lord can use someone like this to minister.