Why is it that finding out that something is forbidden often makes it more attractive? All those other trees in the garden, and only one was forbidden to Adam and Eve. But that one became the focus of their desires.
That one, the serpent told them, would make them like God. They would know so much more. (It’s possible that “good and evil” has a meaning similar to our “from A to Z” meaning “everything.”) And there’s nothing link being told there is some secret knowledge to make us eager to learn it.
The knowledge they gain is not pleasing, however. They know they have done something bad. They know they have reason to be ashamed. What they don’t know is what to do about it – other than a very inadequate attempt to cover it up.
We don’t like the idea of suffering the consequences of someone else’s mistakes or wrongdoing. It just seems unfair. Yet that’s how life is, and has been ever since Adam brought sin and death to all humankind.
We are much less likely to be upset with enjoying the benefits of someone else’s goodness. From the standpoint of logic, that’s not exactly “fair” either, but we are happy to receive good things we don’t deserve.
Everything about Adam’s sin is bad news. But everything about Christ’s grace is good news. We receive justification in place of condemnation, and life in place of death.
Like Adam and Eve, Jesus is tempted to act like God. To transform a lifeless stone into life-giving food. To awe people with a miraculous spectacle. To rule over everything in glory.
Being God, he could have done those things. But that was not his purpose in life; his desire was to do his Father’s will, not his own. And he had learned to recognize God’s will by knowing God’s written word in Scripture.