The sin of presumption lies close beside the virtue of perfect faith and confidence in God. Satan flattered himself that he could take advantage of the humanity of Christ to urge Him over the line of trust to presumption. Upon this point many souls are wrecked. Satan tried to deceive Christ through flattery. He admitted that He was right in the wilderness in His faith and confidence that God was His Father under the most trying circumstances. He then urged Christ to give him one more proof of His entire dependence upon God, one more evidence of His faith that He was the Son of God, by casting Himself from the Temple. He told Christ that if He was indeed the Son of God He had nothing to fear, for angels were at hand to uphold Him. Satan gave evidence that he understood the Scriptures by the use he made of them.
The Redeemer of the world wavered not from His integrity, and showed that He had perfect faith in His Father's promised care. He would not put the faithfulness and love of His Father to a needless trial, although He was in the hands of an enemy and placed in a position of extreme difficulty and peril. He would not at Satan's suggestion tempt God by presumptuously experimenting on His providence. Satan had brought in Scripture which seemed appropriate for the occasion, hoping to accomplish his designs by making the application to our Savior at this special time.
Christ knew that God could indeed bear Him up if He had required Him to throw Himself from the Temple. But to do this unbidden, and to experiment upon His Father's protecting care and love because dared by Satan to do so would not show His strength of faith. Satan was well aware that if Christ could be prevailed upon, unbidden by His Father, to fling Himself from the Temple to prove His claim to His Heavenly Father's protecting care, He would in the very act show the weakness of His human nature.
Christ came off victor in the second temptation. He manifested perfect confidence and trust in His Father during His severe conflict with the powerful foe. Our Redeemer, in the victory here gained, has left man a perfect pattern, showing him that his only safety is in firm trust and unwavering confidence in God in all trials and perils. He refused to presume upon the mercy of His Father by placing Himself in peril that would make it necessary for His Heavenly Father to display His power to save Him from danger. This would be forcing providence on His own account, and He would not then leave for His people a perfect example of faith and firm trust in God.
Satan's object in tempting Christ was to lead Him to daring presumption, and to show human weakness that would not make Him a perfect pattern for His people. He thought that should Christ fail to bear the test of his temptations there could be no redemption for the race, and his power over them would be complete. - Con 48 - Con 49.3