Sunday, September 11, 2016

Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12 - Did Jesus Claim that He Was the Covenant God of Satan?

The World English translation is used throughout this study, unless otherwise noted. The "Holy Name," in its English form, Jehovah, is supplied at appropriate places.
Matthew 4:7 - Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test [Jehovah], your God.'" King James has "the Lord, your God."
Luke 4:12 - Jesus answering, said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt [Jehovah] your God.'"
Deuteronomy 6:16 - You shall not tempt Jehovah your God.
The above scriptures are being presented as proof that Jesus is God, that is, that Jesus is allegedly a person of the only true God (trinitarian), and/or that Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh (Mormon, oneness, and some others).
Actually, if Satan thought that Jesus was God Almighty then he would have known how fruitless it would have been to try to deceive God so as to provoke God to sin. However, there is no indication whatsoever that Satan thought that he was trying to get Jehovah to sin.
Satan did not say that Jesus was his God, but rather that Jesus is the son of God:
"If you are the Son of God." -- Matthew 4:3,6; Luke 4:9.
The demons referred to Jesus, not as the Most High, but rather as "son of the Most High" (Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28), which is confirmed to be spoken of the babe Jesus in Luke 1:32.
This was the emphasis that Satan himself was putting on his tests of Jesus, that is, in effect, Satan was saying to Jesus: "I want you to prove that you are the son of God by doing this...." In reality, it was Satan's hopes to trick Jesus, to deceive Jesus, into being disobedient. Satan was not asking Jesus to prove that Jesus was God. Certainly Satan would have known if Jesus was Jehovah, and knowing that, would have also known that it would fruitless to try to deceive Jehovah into disobeying or denying Himself.
Let us read the context:
Matthew 4:5 - Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
Matthew 4:6 - and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge concerning you.' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, So that you don't dash your foot against a stone.'"
Matthew 4:7- Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test Jehovah, your God.'"
What did Jesus say? Jesus did not appeal to himself, so as to tell Satan, I am your God whom you should not test," but rather Jesus appeals on his own behalf to written Word of his God, to the Law Covenant that was made with the children of Israel, recognizing himself as belonging to that covenant with Israel: "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test [Jehovah], your God'" (Matthew 4:7), thereby showing his denial to submit to the temptation of Satan. The expression "your God" refers to Jehovah as the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15), who is also the God of Jesus as member of the children of Israel; Jesus was referring to the God who sent Jesus. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.
Jehovah "your God" as found in Jay Green's Literal Translation
Jesus is Not Jehovah
Jesus was referring to the Law as given to Israel, Deuteronomy 6:16, which words were spoken to the nation of Israel, which was the only nation which had Jehovah as their God by covenant relationship. (Exodus 19:5,6; Deuteronomy 7:6; Amos 3:2) Thus, the words "your God" are in reference to the Israel's God. Was Jesus here claiming that he [Jesus] was Jehovah, and was Jesus telling Satan that he [Jesus] was Satan's God (as though Satan were under the Law through Moses) and that Satan should not be testing Satan's God? Was Jesus, in effect, claiming that Satan was in covenant relationship (through Moses) with Jehovah, and thus should not tempt his -- Satan's -- God? In reality, such an idea has to be added to and read into what Jesus said, and such an idea would actually take what Jesus said out of the context of the quote that Jesus gave, so as to apply to Jesus as being Satan's God.
On the other hand, Jesus was, by birth, an Israelite, born under the law. (Galatians 4:4) Jesus knew who his God was. Jesus was applying the verse to himself as an Israelite, that he [Jesus], who worshiped Jehovah as his God, should not test Jehovah by submitting to the stunt that Satan was telling him to do.
Therefore, in reality, the fact is that Jesus was not saying to Satan that Jesus was "Jehovah, your God," the God that Satan was not to test.
Updated: May 30, 2009; Updated and republished, January 27, 2015.

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