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Summary: Taking ownership of ones wrong doings

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Since the earliest days of man when Eve uttered these words, “"The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’’ (Genesis 3:13b NKJV) we have attempted to blame Satan for every time we go astray. While it is true that the devil and the demons have played a role in our separation from God, ultimately the fault lays with us.

In our Gospel reading for today we taken to Jesus near the end of his forty days in the wilderness. We see and hear Jesus and Satan in their conversations, as the devil tries to persuade Jesus into using His powers for His own preservation and self-servitude.

So why mention the fall of man before taking us to the Gospel lesson? My reason is this; Satan was using the same old tricks and lies on Jesus that he had used on Adam and Eve. From testing God to save him from certain death, to offering him god-like powers and dominion over the world.

Let’s look at each temptation of Jesus again:

And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’’ But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ‘‘(Luke 4:3-4 NKJV)

What kind of symbolism or meaning is there behind these words? Why does Satan want Jesus to turn the stones into bread? What’s the big deal with that? Moreover, why does Jesus respond the way he does?

According to William Barclay, this exchange could be retranslated to read this way;

The tempter said to Jesus, "If you want people to follow you, use your wonderful powers to give them material things." He was suggesting that Jesus should bribe people into following him. Back came Jesus’ answer in a quotation of Deuteronomy 8:3. "A man," he said, "will never find life in material things." (Barclay’s Study Bible).

This rings very true in our modern era of worship; the philosophy is less Word, more show. The bigger, the better the show; we only need a verse or two of scripture, and maybe ten minutes of sermon. The flashier the better, the lighter on theology and truth and more about self-esteem or feeling good about how one is living their lives. This is the temptation that some churches are giving into more and more. I am not saying all churches are this way, but some are.

Remember Jesus said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ In other words, while the flash is filling, it is God’s Word that provides the true nourishment of the soul. It provides the true necessary direction for our lives, as well as the means to understanding how God can work in our lives.

The second temptation offered by Satan reads like this:

“I will give you all this power and their splendor, for it has been handed over to me, for me to give it to anyone I choose. Do homage, then, to me, and it shall all be yours."

But Jesus answered him, "Scripture says: You must do homage to the Lord your God, him alone you must serve." (Luke 4:6-8 NJB)

Satan has used this temptation many times by playing on the egos of those that strive for power and fame. How many of us are familiar with those stories of people selling their souls to the devil. This is the same temptation that Satan has used to lure people into following him.


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