Jesus and Genesis 3 (part three)


This mosaic dates from the 12th century and depicts the three temptations of Jesus from Matthew 4, even concluding with the devil departing and angels ministering to Jesus.

I’ve always been fascinated by Genesis 3. There’s just so much packed into that chapter that explains so much about the Bible.

My first post in this series looked at the three responses of Adam and Eve after they initially sinned.

My second post looked at the theme of death in Genesis 3. Amazing stuff in God’s Word!

In today’s post, I’d like to consider the similarities and differences between the temptation of Adam in Genesis 3 and the temptations of Jesus in Matthew/Luke 4.

These are nothing more than half-baked ideas that I’ve not studied carefully. What that means is that there’s probably lots in the text that you could discover on your own, far beyond what I’ll capture here. I hope you will.

1) Best imaginable conditions vs worst imaginable conditions. Satan opposed the first Adam in the Garden; he opposed the Second Adam in the Desert. Adam had perfect fellowship with God and abundant food in ideal conditions when Satan came knocking; Jesus was deprived of food and ideal conditions when Satan came knocking.

2) One temptation vs three. Adam was tempted once and fell; Jesus was tempted thrice and stood. And Jesus’ temptations were more tempting, more desirable.

3) The first man failed the test; the Perfect Man passed the test…all three. Jesus experienced victory where Adam had failed. Jesus didn’t need to cover his sin, hide from God, or blame others afterward. He remained holy.

I have heard the argument that Jesus cannot really sympathize with our weaknesses (as Hebrews says) if Jesus didn’t sin. I disagree. From this passage I take it that Jesus has experienced the full power of temptation. We haven’t. We give in too soon. Jesus weathered the entire onslaught and survived.

4) The same tempter: Satan. Satan was in the Garden tempting Adam and Eve, and later in the desert tempting Jesus. After Adam and Eve failed, they fled from God. After Jesus won, Satan fled from Him.

Also interesting: after Adam sinned an angel prevented Adam and Eve access to the Garden’s provision. After Jesus resisted temptation, angels came and provided for Him.

5) The role of the Word of God. Satan used God’s Word in both stories to tempt them–or rather, he misused it. This tactic worked well against Eve. But it failed against Jesus, the Word made flesh. Three times Jesus resisted the Devil by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy.

Good thing there isn’t much at stake in my life that depends on my ability to quote from the book of Deuteronomy.


2 responses to “Jesus and Genesis 3 (part three)

  • Confession and Genesis chapter three (part one) | Jeffrey E. Miller

    […] I thought I would share some observations from Genesis 3 with you this week–in three separate blog posts. Go to part two here, part three here. […]

  • belleunruh

    Very interesting. You brought up ideas I have not heard before. It is interesting how Satan used God’s own words against Jesus and Eve. But Satan left out important facts. I guess this shows how important it is to know all of God’s words so we won’t be deceived.

    Jesus did have a much harder time of it than Eve or Adam. I guess all the temptations were about doing things your own way instead of God’s way. That is a temptation we all go through every day. I think Jesus sympathizes with us. He remembers we are dust.

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