Thursday, September 17, 2015

Diet of Rocks - The First Temptation

After forty days of fasting a healthy person’s body begins to shut down. If it is an intentional fast this is about as long as you can safely go. If you are not completely healthy it would be dangerous to go this far. Jesus was exhausted and weak. Hunger pangs had gone away many days before this point. Now he just felt sick. Death was a very real possibility if he did not eat soon. He had submitted to the Spirit’s leading and where he had ended up was not good. It isn’t a good feeling when you realize that the vultures are starting to notice you.

Right when things had gotten about as bad as they can get Jesus suddenly had company. Pleasantries were not exchanged. They both knew perfectly well who the other was. Satan went straight into round one. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” On the surface this seems a rather weak and obvious temptation. But this wasn’t a novice attempt at tripping up some naive kid.

If you consider the situation as it was during the first temptation of Christ some things become apparent. Jesus was the Son of God and this was the world that he had created. Jesus had become a part of that world and was experiencing for himself what it was like to live in that world. If he was the Son of God, why wasn’t he fixing things? Jesus was experiencing profound hunger in a world full of hunger, sickness, and death. It would seem that Satan was throwing these things in his face and taunting him. How could a world created by a good God be so bad?

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” As badly as Jesus wanted to end the suffering and despair that had settled onto his creation he had more important issues to consider. Temporal suffering is real, but not as bad as eternal suffering. The only way that we could ever hear every word that comes from the mouth of God is if our relationship with God is restored. Jesus had to remain in relationship with God himself, always putting The Father first. From that foundation Jesus set out to be obedient to God’s plan of salvation so that we could be restored. Serving himself was not in Jesus plan and he wouldn’t do it.

From the Book Immanuel by Rev. Tim Stevens

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