The Temptation of Jesus
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.“
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
” ‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do 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 splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.“
11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
While reading the passage above I thought about some of the things I have faced and some of the struggles my loved ones have endured. Although I have read this passage several times this time it spoke to me a little different and I wanted to share with you.
The Spirit leads Jesus into the desert to be tempted. Jesus fasts for forty days and nights and the devil comes to pay him a visit. He speaks to Jesus when he is tired and hungry and at a weakened state offering Him several ways out of His desert. He asked Jesus to use the gifts and promises that God had already given Him against God’s will, or better yet not in God’s time.
I’m sure that this was probably more difficult than it reads. Think about it, many of us are tired and hungry we feel like we have been in our deserts waiting for God to come show us out and He hasn’t come yet. In the beginning of that time it’s easy to wait. We are all prayed up and faithful thinking a change is gonna come and it doesn’t. So we begin to become weak tired and hungry, then it happens satan comes and starts to whisper to us. “God gave you the ability to make something out of nothing, you’re hungry use that gift and get out there and get what you need, so what if it’s not in God’s will or His timing? God has put you in dangerous situations before and got you out of them, so jump off this cliff, put yourself in harms way. God will surely come to your rescue, He already told you that He would, so go ahead turn away from Him after all He led you here and left you here in the desert hungry and alone, I’m your way out now.”
However while many of us can relate to being in the desert, while many of us can relate to being tempted. What many of us need to do is focus on Jesus’ behavior. While He went to the cliff, and He heard the devils words. He always referred back to what God had told him. Hungry He trusted, Tired he Trusted. He told the devil that He would not test God. Finally the devil showed his true face and said “i’ll give you this if you bow down”. Meaning turn away from God and submit to me, it’s like him saying to you, go back to the way you were before you knew of God’s love, start doing things that God has delivered you from, take the wrong path instead of the right and I will give you what you need to get out of this desert (of course that means turning away from all the Blessings God has in store for you).
That is when enough got to be enough and Jesus did something that many of us need to do, instead of further entertaining these conversations and trying to make someone see that God has a plan for His life and that He trusted His Father, He told Satan, “Get Away From Me”. What stood out to me when I read the scripture this morning wasn’t that God allowed Jesus to be tempted, it wasn’t that the devil came when He was at his weakest point, it wasn’t even that the devil tired to get Jesus to serve him. What stood out was Jesus ordering the devil to get away from Him and that he did just that. However, once HE commanded the devil to flee the “Angles came to attend to Him”.
In conclusion, maybe that is where some of us are? God is always there with us watching and waiting, wanting us to make the right choices. However sometimes even by entertaining the conversation with the devil and telling him why you will do right is giving him too much time and attention. Those conversations with the devil, although you are stating your loyalty to the Lord, might not be anything more than mere distractions. After all we don’t have to prove anything to the devil. We know what the devil wants and no amount of telling him that you aren’t going to do it is going to change his mind, so he just needs to flee. Perhaps staying prayerful and fasting is good but maybe we need to stop entertaining the devil, look that devil right in the face and tell him to “Go Away”! That way we have done what we need to do in order for our “Angels to come attend to us”
River Angel 42