1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
3And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
4But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"
5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,
6and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
'HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU';
'ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'"
7Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'"
8Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;
9and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me."
10Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"
11Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
I just finished listening to a podcast series by Andy Stanley called "Pause". The sermons (4 of them) examine the temptations of Christ during his 40 days in the desert. Here are a couple of the main points that I got out of it.
1. We often think that if we are doing God's will that we will not be tempted. In the passage before this, Jesus is baptized and God the Father speaks to Jesus and says that his is well pleased. Then he is sent into the wilderness for 40 days. On Jesus' best day - he is tempted. How should we approach temptation?
2. When (not if) we are tempted, it isn't so much about us, but about how much we trust God. Do we truly believe God will do what He says he will do? Or, do we take all we can get when we can get it?
3. After 40 days, Jesus was hungry (duh?). He was able to be sustained through the first temptation by trusting that God would sustain him. He was able to put off instant gratification knowing that his purpose (saving us) was his goal. He had to stay sinless to be our perfect sacrifice. This momentary hunger was worth it because of us.
4. The second temptation, Andy Stanley asks if we are a manipulator of God or a follower of God. Do we do things - maybe stupid things - and then ask God to rescue us or save us from ourselves? Or are we following God's lead in the direction we go in his life. God will not be manipulated.
5. The third temptation. New revelation to me, put the earth was given to be ruled by man - name the animals, etc. God's authority over that ended when Adam and Eve sinned. The last temptation is offering Jesus the very thing he came to earth to do - to have authority over the earth once more. This was Christ's purpose - that is why he was sent. Yet, Jesus could not sin and lose it all for the sake of a shortcut. He remained faithful to God the Father and did not compromise His integrity.
I truly like listening to Andy Stanley. Highly recommended.
Thanks for reading