The Test

1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

5-6 For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”

Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.”

8-9 For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”

10 Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”

11 The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.

Teaching and Healing

12-17 When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. This move completed Isaiah’s revelation:

Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
    road to the sea, over Jordan,
    Galilee, crossroads for the nations.
People sitting out their lives in the dark
    saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
    they watched the sun come up.

This Isaiah-prophesied revelation came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”

Read full chapter

Bible Gateway Recommends

The Message Deluxe Gift Bible, Black/Slate Leather-Look
The Message Deluxe Gift Bible, Black/Slate Leather-Look
Retail: $16.99
Our Price: $13.49
Save: $3.50 (21%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
The Message Deluxe Gift Bible, Sunlight/Grass Leather-Look
The Message Deluxe Gift Bible, Sunlight/Grass Leather-Look
Retail: $16.99
Our Price: $13.49
Save: $3.50 (21%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
The Message Outreach Edition, Large-Print, softcover
The Message Outreach Edition, Large-Print, softcover
Retail: $9.99
Our Price: $5.00
Save: $4.99 (50%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
The Message // REMIX 2.0, Soft Imitation Leather, Color Spectrum
The Message // REMIX 2.0, Soft Imitation Leather, Color Spectrum
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $17.99
Save: $22.00 (55%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
The Message Gift and Award Bible, Imitation Leather, Coral
The Message Gift and Award Bible, Imitation Leather, Coral
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $6.49
Save: $1.50 (19%)
2.5 of 5.0 stars