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Summary: Put out an APB on Temptation! The fact is, Jesus WAS tempted in all points, just like us, but without sin. He knows what struggles we face, and in this sermon we explore how the temptation of Jesus in the wildreness reveals three of our most basic human

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All Points Bulletin

03-05-06

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

"be touched with" = Greek word "soom-path-eh’-o" from which we get sympathy.

"infirmities" in the Greek refers to our human weakness, our inherent lack of strength, of the body and of the soul.

What we see then, is that Jesus is able to sympathize with our humanness. He understands our struggles, because he felt the same struggles.

He was subjected to the same trials that we face, he was tested, tempted, tried...and quite literally; he was persecuted; he was poor; he was despised; he suffered physical pain. So he was, and is able to identify with our current struggles. The Message Translation says it this way:

Heb 4:15 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all--all but the sin.

To understand why Jesus would subject himself to such human troubles and trials, we turn back two chapters and read:

Heb 2:14 Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death

Heb 2:15 and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.

Heb 2:16 It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham.

Heb 2:17 That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins,

Heb 2:18 he would have already experienced it all himself--all the pain, all the testing--and would be able to help where help was needed.

How many here today can say that you need help in areas of your life? Jesus can bring strength into your struggle. He is not "out of touch" with your reality. You may say, "well, Jesus didn’t have to deal with the kinds of things that I’m dealing with." Let’s look again at verse 15 in chapter 4:

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

That’s why I’ve chosen to title today’s message, "All Points Bulletin." You see, an APB is issued when there is a threat or situation so dire that all precincts are told to be on the lookout. Instead of staking out one particular street corner, the eyes and ears of the entire city come alive in order to detect and contain the situation.

In your life and mine, there is not a street corner of the soul that is not under the watchful care and understanding of a Savior who has been there before. He knows what’s there in those dark alleys of depression. He feels the darkness of every shadow, the shrill demands of every internal dark desire.

Now the Bible does not describe to us every temptation that Jesus endured. But it does give us more insight than we usually recognize. Turning to Matthew chapter 4, I want to explore the well known temptation in the wilderness. When we consider our Savior being tempted in all points just like us, we probably don’t think of these three temptations in that same category. They seem like struggles of a more divine nature. "If you really are the Son of God" is the catcall two out of three times. It hardly seems like an "every-man" struggle. But let’s look at the text:

Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

First of all, the Bible says that Jesus was led up by the Spirit. The word led actually means "driven". Luke 4:1 tells us that Jesus was "full of the Holy Spirit" and as such was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness.

We’d like living for God to be easy. We like verses that say, "He maketh me lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul." But it also says

1Jo 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Walking in the Spirit isn’t Easy Street. The road less travelled usually has more thorns.

Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

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