Summary: Temptation of Jesus - You can do it, easier and quick and test God. The devil knows how to tempt you, not just a generic temptation. He knows the best time, the best place, the most tempting thing to offer.
How about a piece of pie?
Today we are talking about temptation. Most of you may remember the Flip Wilson Show and his character Geraldine, Always saying “the devil made me do it!”
We tend to think like that don’t we? If we sin and we feel caught or guilty we like to blame someone else. Maybe the devil or some one that is evil or less moral tempts us.
I think we all believe that we know what temptation is all about. But let me give you a couple of stories that I think illustrates the thought with a precise focus.
A little boy in a grocery store was standing near an open box of peanut butter cookies. “Now then, young man,” said the grocer as he approached the young man. “What are you up to?” “Nothing,” replied the boy: “Nothing.” “Well it looks to me like you were trying to take a cookie.” “You’re wrong, mister, I’m trying not to!”
We understand that temptation leads to trouble. Such was the plight of man that I read about in Reader’s digest. This man said he was shopping in the mall with his wife when a shapely young woman in a short, form fitting dress walked by. He said as she walked by his eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining his wife asked, Was it worth the trouble that you are in?
That’s the trouble with temptation. We know we should not and we know that there are consequences to our actions. We are sometimes just asking ourselves is it worth it.
Our scripture today describes how Jesus was tempted. It tells us the setting, Just after Jesus Baptism and that he is full of he Holy Spirit.
Isn’t it easy to resist temptation when we are full. When you go over to the steak house and fill up on salad, then the meal comes with a big baked potato.
When you are full, it is normally easier to say o I don’t need that $4.50 piece of Pie or cake. I am not saying that you want give in, it is just easier.
At the beginning of the 40 days, Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit, but it seems that the devil pulled out his best stuff after Jesus was hungry. At the end of the 40 days the devil starts tempting Jesus to use his divine identity and abilities.
Solve your hunger, You have the power. You can do it.
How in the world can I look at Jesus and think the if he did it so can I. HE was the son of God for heavens sake. I am just a normal person with way too much stress. The only thing I feel full of is hot air.
Just because he was able to resist when he was weak only makes me feel bad that I can’t when I am strong. You know what; stories like this are just the reason that some people don’t want to hear about being a Christian. Jesus was perfect and if you aren’t perfect you better go someplace else because you are only going to feel bad about yourself.
Personally one if my big temptation is to feel sorry for myself. To beat myself up when I get physically tired, when I get spiritually hungry and when I review my failures. Temptation to separate yourself from God is always there. The separation is the consequence not the temptation itself.
If you use Jesus as your daily measuring stick you will never feel like you are doing any good in your life. Jesus should be or target, but while we are in this sinful world you will not really get close to hitting it.
The temptations in the scripture today can be warning flags for us, and Jesus success should be our goal.
Let’s start with the bread. When we are hungry can be physical but I would think we should be thinking of Spiritual. Satan suggests that Jesus, as the son of God, not depend on God to provide but to take action for himself.
How does that happen in our lives? Do we actively jump into situations and look for a fix or nourishment. Do we feel that we have to search desperately to fill something that is missing and let someone else tell us what it is?
TV advertisers love to tell you what you need. Foods, exercise and diet products, how to buy real estate. Advertisers are always trying to fill the questions inside of us that say that we need to be better, thinner, richer and if we use our credit card the answer can solve the hunger with rush shipping.
The devil is the advertiser to our spiritual hunger, pointing out the green pastures over there someplace. You have the power to heal yourself. Just take control and make decisions totally for your self. You are empowered and a free thinker. You are in charge and don’t need to trust God.