What The Temptation of Yeshua Teaches

In the post called Symbolism Calls Us Deeper we discussed the esoteric elements behind Yeshua’s conversation with Nicodemus. Today, I’d like to relate that conversation to our own experience and describe how the Temptation in the desert gives us a playbook on how to overcome the triune elements of our being and realize the Kingdom here and now. Remember: the Kingdom Doctrine directly ties in how our four internal elements relates to Malkhut- the physical Kingdom we live in. It is absolutely vital we separate all of this new age wuwu and religious dogma from an ancient truth; there is only God. There is only the All and We are all a part of it.


Fight, flight, or freeze lives in our bodies alongside a number of other chemical responses survival requires. Our personas are created over time by these cascades of chemicals that fire off based partly on the characters we play in the world. Our souls become shaped by these decisions and we either become blinded by our egos or shine brightly. Each decision becomes a habit physically sketched in our brains. We develop our demeanor’s, tastes, admirable traits and addictions as these aspects of our being interact internally. We subconsciously develop our characters with very little understanding into how they come to be.

Some of us wake up one day, wash our face in a mirror and don’t like what we see. The reflection is some unrecognizable terror our inner child is scared to play with. Sometimes that mirror’s in a jail cell and there’s a life sentence looming over the head of our reflection. The concept of being “born again” sounds exactly like the type of do-over we’ve been desperately craving facing our end.

The first commitment comes easy. We throw away the character we’ve played for decades because we’re disgusted by it. Manipulations fade as we stop shifting blame and accept responsibility for the damage we’ve done. The hunger to become humble and compassionate gives us purpose. Our why provides hopes we haven’t considered in decades. We ride the wave of that pink cloud for a while and everything starts turning around.

Those traumas that live in our bodies get triggered. It all hits the fan and we scramble a bit. Old inner enemies start whispering in our heads again. Coping strategies that worked so well in the past start sounding like a good idea. Our souls feel defeated and withdraw while we put our emotional walls up. The need to ‘pour out the creatures’ becomes louder than it’s ever been. Something in that need to dump our burdens reminds us to turn it over to God. All that effort to surrender and pray made new pathways in our brain. As we fall on our knees our souls collapse into Gods embrace. We are safe.

Temptations are an age old phenomenon. It takes time and effort to make better decisions and surrender to God. Oftentimes, we don’t instantly become the new person we’re called to be. That future version is out there for sure. We’re just works in progress learning to trust the process. The flesh will always send its signals out. We may not even notice a trigger and react without thinking. Replacing habits we’ve had for decades with virtuous action isn’t an easy task.

Now, as aspiring mystics we’re fortunate enough to have a relationship with God and can always ask for help. We develop systems to pause when bombarded with situations we don’t like. A quiet prayer of “Thy will be done, not my own,” goes a long to protect that intrusive coworker who has no clue what type of behavior we’re capable of. Our trust in God grows as we turn over our impulses and carry our crosses onward. The words of Christ play in our minds quietly as He teaches us lessons from within. We find our answers in scriptures instead of puffing out or chests in belligerence.

We ask ourselves, how did Christ deal with temptations?

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the Adversary. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The Adversary said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him,

It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”

And the Adversary took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him,

It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him,

It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

And when the Adversary had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

-Luke 4:1-13


As servants a huge part of our commitment to God involves taking up our crosses and following Christ. Imitation requires reading about Christ and relating what we learn to our lives. We apply the Lectio Divina method to study and spend time reflecting on the stories of Yeshua. Our hearts open up to the verses as we place ourselves in those situations.

Our souls know the desert of temptation. We can almost feel our gut touching our spine internalizing what type of hunger comes from a 40 day fast. We experience awe in our understanding that His flesh was pushed to the limit. We imagine the desert heat and wonder if we could overcome the need to drink water and eat.

Again, the physical limitations of flesh are completely depleted some 40 days in. His body is probably hours from death at this point. The real temptation is undoubtedly coming from His awareness of just how close to collapsing his body is. It would almost have to feel like pure stupidity not to grant the Adversary his wish and transmute stones into bread.

However, Yeshua has mastered His body. His Divine Soul is in total control of His faculties. His mind is completely attentive to the urges of His flesh so there isn’t that threat of reacting without actively choosing to. In fact, He reminds the Adversary of what’s written in the Law:

It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”

Yeshua is too coherent in Adversity to be anything like I can perceive myself being in that state. Imagine being completely tranquil and unfazed by stomach pains after 40 days of fasting in the desert. I don’t even fight my bodies urge for ice cream at 9 o’clock on some nights, but Christ… thinks from a higher place. His Souls desire to complete the task He was given remained in the drivers seat as master over the flesh.


The next level of temptation comes for His soul. He’s taken over the surrounding lands and tempted with money and power. The Adversary tests His souls desire by enticing Him with worldly prestige and creature comforts. Plenty of men and women have given into their urge to accumulate wealth and disregarded anyone they had to step on in the process. It’s a test of “choose this day whom you will serve.”

To be worshiped and adored by others is thrilling for sure. To hear his Adversary describe how all this authority and glory “has been delivered” to him is almost bone chilling. How many of us even consider what our ambitions could be giving us over to? Service to the flesh is like that though. Our souls aren’t meant to live for our physical pleasure alone. No new shiny thing should drive us to work late and come between our inner peace from our commitment to God.

Yeshua obviously isn’t interested in chasing fleeting glimpses of satisfaction that may come from dominating others. His innermost desire is firmly rooting in service and sharing the fruits of the Spirit. He’s surrendered His willpower over to serve the will of His Father. His response is a direct reflection of His commitment:

It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

Turning over our desires is a huge turning point in our walk with God. The more we shift our desires away from personal benefits and give into love by forgiving others the more we receive in abundance. Fear giving into ignorance. Solomon considered fear- reverential awe- to be the beginning of wisdom. How much respect would we be giving God by turning our personal desires over and replacing them with servitude to the Most High?

What’s wild is a lot of our inner conflict arises from our souls desire clashing with our minds reason. Desire that’s focused on a higher calling is a lot less likely to dive into those emotional train wrecks our intellect already knows is foolish.


The final test led Yeshua and His guest star to the top of a pinnacle to do a bit of mental gymnastics. The Temple is the highest point in all of Jerusalem.

Some teachers associate this test with the soul because it is up high (like “El Shaddai”) but I recognize the heart as the seat of the soul- or what psychologists call the subconscious. Our souls regulate our involuntary actions and form our patterns of behavior based everything they’ve take in. Desire is emotional but it doesn’t require proof. Only an ego would be foolish enough to jump off a pinnacle to prove a point. Emotions don’t have that need to make sense.

That being said, the temptation to swan dive from the Temple is twofold. While Yeshua would have to be ridiculously egotistical to force any cherub in the area to save Him it would also require a sliver of pride to commit. Pride can only come into fruition if there is some primal desire the mind can’t see. He would have to desire to be revealed and that takes an emotional need for comfort. Insecurities seek validation but Yeshua wasn’t incomplete by any means. So, He responds from a place of harmony:

It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When we put something to the test it’s because we think it looks sketchy or need verification. Hypothetical predictions don’t become proven theories until their results can be duplicated and quantified. Our minds are somewhat incredulous by nature. That’s part of what makes them such great decision makers.

Be that as it may, most of us don’t live in a state of complete awareness where every action is taken with focused intent. In fact, the average person spends about 4 hours a day running on autopilot. That’s about a decade of our lives we will be completely oblivious to.

Souls never rest. A wellspring of experience gets stored in our subconscious indefinitely. The soul remembers and keeps cross-reference signals from the body with these memories and provides input. This can feel intrusive when the body is triggered and emotions overwhelm our thoughts.

Unless one is born of water and the Spirit,” the Kingdom will remain unseen. The waters of the soul needs just as much transformation as our minds do. Only a disciplined mind renewed in knowledge can enlighten the eyes of the heart. By shining the light of the Word inwards we are willfully turning our innermost desire over to God.

The final lesson is noting the Adversary only leaves “until an opportune time” for further temptation presents itself. We must continue to remain observant of our emotions and bridle our bodies urges. Mental and emotional discipline is Key.

We’ll get into the realization of the Kingdom (Air) and discuss the interconnected nature of existence at a later date. That particular subject almost has to be completely separated from lofty spiritualist ideals and described in purely scientific terms. It’s not nearly as vague as one might think.

For now, just reflect on the three elements of being we are all acutely aware of.

Thank you for your dedication. G-d be with you.


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