There is nothing new under the sun. This goes, particularly I might add, for the Devil and his normal “game plan” when tempting humans. From the Garden of Eden to this moment, the temptations that the Father of Lies sends us are predictable. Now although we all could look through our lives and find this fact; to illustrate the repetitiveness of some of the temptations the example used will be one that we all know about. In the book of Genesis we read about the fall of man. In the Gospel of Luke (and others but Luke is whom I will use) we read about the Devil tempting Jesus in the desert, after forty days of fasting.
Now with the Garden, Satan starts his temptations with the appetites, in this case for food. The book of Genesis says that “It was a delight to the eyes…” (RSV Gen 3.6). Since it worked in the Garden, it was tried with Jesus. Lucifer said (Massively paraphrased) , “hey you’re hungry, make these rocks into bread so you can satisfy your hunger”. Jesus, unlike what our first parents did told him “no”. In both cases the food would have been very satisfying, but Jesus shows that our will needs to be in control, not our hunger for food. Now this was something not expected by the Devil. So the Devil tries another tactic.
So with human’s appetite for food not a way for the Devil to tempt Jesus; Satan works on Pride, more specifically the human appetite for esteem or glory. I would say that this temptation, in general, is a temptation that the devil is especially good at. I am not saying that some temptations are his “strong points”, while others are not; just that his is the sin that cause himself to fall. Lucifer was the number one angel (see Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 391), no other created creature was equal to him. But he could not understand how in serving (mankind) he would be rising in glory. Likewise, in the Garden, he tells Eve “you will be like God” (RSV Gen 3.5) Furthermore, Satan shows Jesus “all the kingdoms of the earth” which Jesus could rule. In return, Jesus undid Adam and Eve’s disobedience by contradicting with “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” (RSV Luke 4.8). In both cases though, the Devil uses the desire for glory to get us to think of ourselves.
The connections between the Devil’s temptations in the Garden of Eden and Jesus in the desert show us that it is guessable on what Satan will do. Fortunately we can, and should, learn from this “game plan” of the Devil and act accordingly. On the other hand though, the reason why this “game plan” is no different than the years before is the fact that it still works. The reason why it works is that they are powerful temptations, and the fact that the Devil NEVER quits. The best way to fight them is through the Blessed Virgin Mary, so stay close to her. Feel free to comment below. God bless.
Revised Standard Version. Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1952. Print.
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