Bible basic Teachings

Did a literal devil tempt Jesus Christ?

Before I answer your question on the temptation of Jesus, let me quickly say this:

/On Devil/ The problem is that Christianity is no longer viewed from the Jewish (rabbinical) worldview. Judaism is strictly monotheistic with no room for any god of evil. God claimed responsibility for all good and all evil, light and darkness and this is the original Jewish worldview about good and calamity:

6That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isaiah 45:6,7.

The concept of fallen angels is from Jewish apocryphal views as found in book of Enoch. But this is not mainstream Jewish belief. The Jews of Jesus time only continued to use that language to describe bad events for example, mental maladies, addictions, epilepsy, etc. is referred to as being possessed by demons. A modern reader of the Bible may not understand that 2,000 years ago in the time of Jesus, there was no adequate scientific knowledge of such health challenges hence the hunt for witches even in Europe in dark ages. But now we know better that demon possession is only the language used to describe the unknown (mental) sicknesses if those days. The most important thing is that our lord Jesus healed our infirmities or cast out demons to return the people to their right mind. It will be wrong to see mentally challenged people today as possessed by evil spirits. We better on how to rehabilitate and describe them unlike 2,000 years ago.

Do you want to know what Jews believe today when they read ‘devil’? They call it Yetzer haraah or the personification of evil/inclination to sin. I advice that people seek the Jewish worldview of biblical terminologies before looking towards Greek philosophy that is predominant in Western Christianity. The Bible is first Jewish. See: Yetzer hara – Wikipedia


People think that the temptation of Jesus was LITERAL, that is, a certain devil (with horns and tail??) physically came to tempt Jesus. But that temptation was not literal. For example see from Matthew 4:

  1. 5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down…”

QUESTION: Do you really believe that a certain being called the devil LITERALLY took Jesus from beyond Jordan to Jerusalem, climbed the PINNACLE of the ever busy temple, and no one saw them?? And Jesus followed the devil’s lead?

2. 8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;”

QUESTION: Do you believe that the physical devil literally took Jesus and climbed a certain mountain that was so high enough to see all the kingdoms of the world and its splendor? What mountain is this that would give such a view?? How come this devil is not afraid of Jesus? Shouldn’t he flee at the mere mention of the name of Jesus?


The narration of the temptation starts like this:
1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

This means that this was something that either happened in Jesus thoughts or a vision like that of Ezekiel and John which requires interpretation. For example, since he was hungry after fasting for 40 days and now he had the holy spirit powers after his baptism, shouldn’t he use this power for his own personal benefits like turning stone to bread? Since he was the son of God, he could afford to live life as he pleased afterall his Father would always send angels to save him from harm. Also since he was to be the king of the whole world, he could succumb to the desires of his flesh (devil) and take the kingdom before its time like Jeroboam and Jehu did considering the fact that at certain points, even the Jews wanted to make him king by force. Who wouldn’t want such honor?

In all these, he defeated the devil with the word of God by saying “It is written…”

We read in the Bible that Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are, yet he was without sin (Heb 4:15). Jesus defeated sin. None of us can claim to have been led about by a certain devil.

Do you know that the word Devil is not in the entire Old Testament? Do you know that even God was addressed as Satan here (compare 2Sam 24:1,2 with 1Chron 21:1,2)

Do you know that the satan in the book of Job couldn’t do anything without taking permission from God, and it was reported that all the evil that came to Job was from God? Job42:11, 2:10

Do you know that it is said that EVIL SPIRIT from YHWH tormented Saul? 1 Sam 16:14, 16:16; 19:9?

Do you know that lying spirit from God deceived the prophets of Israel? 2Chron 18:19–22; 1Kings 22:22–23?

If you continue to understand the world from Western instead of Jewish point of view, you will end up believing that God is a God of good and devil is a god of evil. You will believe in dualistic God like the heathen.

I encourage you to read about the satan and devil of the bible here

Do you want to be saved? You have to believe in Jesus and his message of salvation.

Click to complete our free preparing for baptism lessons on the gospel here and we will personally keep in touch with you as you grow in faith.