Satan's Motives Contrasted with Christ's
When Jesus came to this world, He came to demonstrate the love of God to all who had heard Satan’s accusations:
Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. “In all things He had to be made like His brethren.” Hebrews 2:17.
The Desire of Ages, p. 24
Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life’s peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. . . .
God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. “In this is love.” 1 John 4:10. Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!
The Desire of Ages, p. 49
Jesus’ Wilderness Temptation
After Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan river, the Bible says that the Spirit led Him into the wilderness. (See Luke 4:1.) There Satan met Jesus with three great tests.
Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest. But within the domain of every human heart this controversy is repeated. Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan. The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. They were urged upon Him in as much greater degree as His character is superior to ours. With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display which leads to presumption. These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.
The Desire of Ages, p. 116-117
Not only did Jesus face the same kinds of temptations that we face, but He also showed us that, in the power of His grace, we can be victorious!
In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature. Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us. Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome. It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan. He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent. “Be of good cheer,” He says; “I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite look to the Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, “I thirst.” He has endured all that it is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours. . . .
And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan? By the word of God. Only by the word could He resist temptation. “It is written,” He said. And unto us are given “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4. Every promise in God’s word is ours. “By every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” are we to live. Matthew 4:4. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the word. All its strength is yours. “Your word,” says the psalmist, “I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” “By the word of Your lips I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.” Ps. 119:11; 17:4.
The Desire of Ages, p. 122-123
Ministry to the Suffering
During His ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. His miracles testified to the truth of His words, that He came not to destroy but to save. His righteousness went before Him, and the glory of the Lord was His rearward. Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him. Where He had passed, the objects of His compassion were rejoicing in health, and making trial of their new-found powers. Crowds were collecting around them to hear from their lips the works that the Lord had wrought. His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever looked upon. Why should they not love Jesus, and sound His praise? As He passed through the towns and cities He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy wherever He went.
The Desire of Ages, p. 350
During every phase of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was refuting Satan’s accusations that God was harsh and unloving. However, the end of Jesus’ life proved to be the ultimate evidence of God’s love.
All Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version, including those originally quoted by Ellen White from the King James Version.—Editors