Context Mattered to Jesus, Part 2

Is the Lord among us or not? (Exodus 17:7)

With numerous and precious promises, God told Israel that he remembered his covenant and would be their people (Ex 6:2–8). He traveled with them as a pillar of cloud and fire; they knew his awesome and mighty presence with them (Ex 13:21–22). And yet, the people doubted their God.


After Jesus was baptized by John, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for a showdown. Because he was hungry after a 40-day fast, Satan suggested he turn stones into bread. In the previous post in this series, we looked at the way Jesus turned back this temptation by quoting from Deuteronomy 8.

Satan then took Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem and proposed a free fall. The devil quoted from Psalm 91, indicating that God had promised to protect Jesus no matter what. We have already examined this misuse of Scripture in detail, so in this article we will take a close look at Jesus’s response.

The Context of Jesus’s Response

In reply to the devil’s temptation, we read this.

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)

This quotation comes from Deuteronomy 6:16. The larger context is worth discussing at length. In the midst of a second giving of the law, God gave his people instructions for their new life in the promised land they would shortly enter.

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