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Temptations and Triumph - Life and Teachings of Lord Jesus

After the baptism, Lord Jesus resorted to seclusion in the wilderness and practised extreme austerities and fasted. At the end of 40 days of such fasting He was hungry. Austerities and meditation had, no doubt, earned for Him divine powers to work miracles. And, the Lord did perform miracles to save people and to heal them. “Why not use those powers now, convert stones into bread, and appease your hunger,” tempted Satan, the Evil One. But, Lord Jesus resolutely refused to yield to this temptation, saying: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God.” Then, again, the temptation arose to test the miraculous powers; “Why not throw yourself from a high tower of the temple; if you are God’s Son, angels shall bear Thee up,” whispered Satan, the Evil One. But once again Lord Jesus brushed the tempter aside, saying: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” A third temptation was placed before Him, when the Evil One took Him to the top of a high mountain, showed Him the world, and said: “All these will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” But, will Lord Jesus agree? No. He grew stern and rebuked: “Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve’.” The Evil One disappeared and the angels ministered to the Lord.

In this great incident of His Life, the Lord had not only given us three most inspiring pieces of instruction, but had also warned by his own example that psychic powers are to be considered as obstacles on his path by the true spiritual aspirant, and that even if, by His Grace, these powers do come to him, he should never even think of utilising them for his selfish ends. Even when his life was at stake, Lord Jesus would not use His miraculous powers to prevent His being crucified. All the miracles He performed during His travels were prompted by the supreme compassion of His heart which overflowed with love and mercy towards all beings. He healed the sick and even raised the dead. But what he really did was to cast out the devils from the persons whom he healed. Their past evil deeds and their hidden evil tendencies had taken the form of their physical and mental ailments. Jesus reclaimed the lost souls and restored to them their pristine purity: He obtained for them, the Lord’s Mercy and Pardon. In his radiant Presence, they not only had great faith in God, but they felt a real eagerness to follow Lord Jesus and lead a new, divine life in accordance with His instructions. It was this faith and this true repentance—repentance that was at once translated into a complete self-reformation—that drew forth from Lord Jesus, His compassionate Healing Grace.

From: Lord Jesus - His Life and Teachings, by Swami Sivananda

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