Matthew 4:8-9. Again the devil taketh him up In what way is not said; into an exceeding high mountain Probably one of the mountains in the wilderness, and from that eminence, partly by the advantage of the place, from which he might behold many magnificent buildings, rich fields, pleasant meadows, hills covered with wood and cattle, rivers rolling through the fertile valleys, and washing the cities as they passed along; and partly by an artful visionary representation, showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them Whatsoever was gay, splendid, or glorious, either in respect of the honours, riches, or pleasures of the world; their great and opulent cities, sumptuous edifices, costly attire, equipage, pomp, and splendour; displaying to his view one of the finest prospects that the most pleasurable and triumphant scenes could furnish out; and all this, not one after another, but in a moment of time, that so they might amaze and affect him the more with their splendour, and on a sudden prevail upon him, which otherwise they would not have been so likely to do. And saith unto him With the most egregious impudence, falsehood, and pride; All these things will I give thee All this glory and power, and all these possessions, if thou wilt fall down and worship me The devil now showed clearly who he was, and therefore Christ, in answering this suggestion, calls him by his proper name, Satan, which, though he undoubtedly knew him, he had not done before. We may learn from hence not to conclude we are utterly abandoned of God when we are assaulted with horrible temptations; Christ himself, we see, was tempted even to worship the devil: but in such cases let us, like Jesus, resolutely repel the temptation, rather than parley with it. Dr. Doddridge observes, that, if we suppose Satan, in these two last temptations, to have worn the form of an angel of light, it will make them both appear more plausible; “for thus he might pretend, in the former, to take charge of Christ in his fall, as one of his celestial guards; and in this latter to resign to him a province which God had committed to his administration and care.” And this, he thinks, may not be inconsistent “with supposing that he first appeared as a man, (it may be as a hungry traveller, who pretended to ask the miracle of turning stones into loaves for his own supply,) for angels, under the Old Testament, had often worn a human form.”
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