“Peace has in it confidence in the Lord: that He directs all things, provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.” - Arcana Caelestia §8455
Kempton New Church

Week 4
Day 3

    Listen:

Luke 22

The Lord’s temptations on the Mount of Olives

Luke 22

39 And going out, He went according to His custom to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples also followed Him.
40 And when He was at the place, He said to them, Pray that you enter not into temptation.
41 And He pulled back from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeling down, He prayed,
42 saying, Father, if Thou intend that this cup should pass from me—nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.
43 And there was seen by Him an angel from heaven strengthening Him.
44 And being in agony, He prayed more intently; and His sweat was as drops of blood descending to the earth.
45 And standing up from prayer, coming to His disciples, He found them slumbering from sorrow,
46 and said to them, Why do you sleep? Stand up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

AC 1787. ...Every temptation is attended with some kind of despair (otherwise it is not a temptation), and therefore consolation follows. He who is tempted is brought into anxieties, which induce a state of despair as to what the end is to be. The very combat of temptation is nothing else. He who is sure of victory is not in anxiety, and therefore is not in temptation.

AC 1787:2. The Lord also, as He endured the most dire and cruel temptations of all, could not but be driven into states of despair, and these He dispelled and overcame by His own power; as may be clearly seen from His temptation in Gethsemane [described above]....

AC 1787:3. From these passages we may see what was the nature of the Lord’s temptations—that they were the most terrible of all; and that He felt anguish from the very inmosts, even to the sweating of blood; and that He was then in a state of despair concerning the end and the event; and also that He had consolations.

AC 1573:3. No human being can possibly be born of another human being without thence deriving evil. But the hereditary evil derived from the father is one thing, and that from the mother is another. The hereditary evil from the father is more internal, and remains to eternity, for it cannot possibly be eradicated; but the Lord did not have such evil, because He was born of Jehovah the Father, and thus as to internals was Divine or Jehovah. But the hereditary evil from the mother is of the external man; this did exist with the Lord... Thus the Lord was born as other men are, and had infirmities as other men have.

AC 1573:4-5. That He derived hereditary evil from the mother is clearly evident from the fact that He underwent temptations; no one can possibly be tempted who has no evil; it is the evil in a man which tempts, and through which he is tempted. That the Lord was tempted, and that He underwent temptations a thousandfold more grievous than any man can ever endure; and that He endured them alone, and overcame evil, or the devil and all hell, by His own power, is also evident.... Moreover, He was tempted even unto death, so that His sweat was drops of blood....

AC 1573:6. No angel can ever be tempted by the devil, because while he is in the Lord, evil spirits cannot approach him, even distantly, without being instantly seized with horror and terror. Much less would hell have been able to approach the Lord if He had been born Divine, that is, without evil adhering from the mother. AC 1573:7. It is likewise a common expression with preachers, that the Lord also bore the iniquities and evils of the human race. But for Him to admit into Himself iniquities and evils, except by the hereditary way, is utterly impossible; for the Divine is not susceptible of evil. And therefore in order that He might conquer evil by His own powers—which no man has been able to do, or is able to do—and so might alone become righteousness, He was willing to be born as are other men. If it had not been for this, there would have been no need of His being born; for the Lord could have assumed the Human Essence without birth, as He did sometimes assume it, when He was seen by the Most Ancient Church, and likewise by the prophets. But for the additional purpose of putting on evil, against which He might fight, and which He might conquer, and might thus conjoin in Himself the Divine Essence with the Human Essence, He came into the world.

AC 1573:8. But the Lord had no evil that was actual, or His own, as He also says in John:

Which of you convicted Me of sin? (John 8:46).
Questions and Comments
  1. Considering that we cannot be regenerated without temptation, why does the Lord teach us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation”? (Matt. 6:13; see verse 40 above.)
  2. Is there ever a time when we do not need to pray, “Not my will, but Thine be done”?
  3. How does it help us to see and approach the Lord as God, knowing that He went through the most terrible temptations in order to save us?
  4. What was the angels’ role in the Lord’s temptations?
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