Summary: The ups and downs in life.

Questioning Jesus - The Tempter

Matthew 3:16-4:4

February 10, 2008

Not long after Jesus gives an inspiring - revolutionary - spell-bounding speech on what it is that he represents

-what it is he is about.

-what he is for.

A teacher of the law - a man with a good mind - a man who thinks well - a man who isn’t given to acting on a whim or carelessly. An expert/teacher of the law approaches Jesus - being so moved by him and says, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

You Teacher - the one who just inspired me.

Spoke to my heart.

Spoke truth I was longing to hear.

"Teacher Jesus, wherever you go, I want to go."

"I want to get in on

participate in

become involved in what you are setting up and beginning."

"Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." (Matthew 8:19)

Jesus’ response isn’t - sure - no problem

Come follow - it’s that easy.

I appreciate your desire - come.

I’m just beginning - I’ll take anyone at this point.

Jesus doesn’t say that. What he says to this interested, excited, I’m willing guy is,

"foxes have holes

and birds of the air have nests

BUT the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20)

What’s Jesus telling him?

It isn’t going to be easy.

It isn’t a yellow brick road.

It isn’t all what it appears to be.

I don’t have a place to lay my head.

Are you sure that you want to be part of something like that?

And the man’s response? We don’t know. Matthew doesn’t tell us.

We sometimes call this man’s desire

His excitement

His noble ambitions

The honeymoon period.

You know the beginning time when everything looks good

Sounds good.

Feels good.

It’s the nothing could go bad - the nothing could go wrong. It’s "all good" period of time.

Yes honey.

Yes sweetie, I’ll serve you.

I’ll help you.

I’ll turn off the TV and do dishes and vacuum the floor.

It’s the honeymoon time.

Jobs have this period of time.

A time when you boss and co-workers are wonderful.

A time when your office seems big

Or the work not too hard and even a little enjoyable.

Jobs have honeymoon times.

Parenting does as well.

Little Johnny or Sally is born and you put a blue or pink hat on them

And their new outfit on and they drool on it

But that’s o.k. because they are so adorable.

And then their diaper overflows and stains the outfit and it’s o.k.

Family vacations have honeymoon periods for a mile or two

When everyone is excited.



And content

Getting a new car, a new apartment or house, a new animal - each comes with a honeymoon chapter.

But the reality hits


Draws near

And we question if our spouse, boss, child is the same person.

That once shiny car begins to drip oil and that house needs its roof patched and the animals can become more expensive than you kids.

It’s easy to say sign me up.

I’m committed to becoming a husband.

An employee here.

A dad.

That’s the easy part but living into a fulfilling those roles can be hazardous to everyone’s health.

"Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." The man said.

And Jesus says, you better think twice about that.

I won’t let you jump into this so fast.

It isn’t as rosy as it appears.

"Foxes have holes, birds nests - me, Jesus - God’s Son. I’ve got no place to lay my head."

In our text for today, we see these 2 periods or chapters of time. This honeymoon time and reality time. We’re going to see how the truths and words revealed during the honeymoon got Jesus through a very difficult, tense, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually draining experience. Memories of the honeymoon often got us through tough situations. Words said, promises made, lives shared can be foundational and the infrastructure necessary when things are toppling over.

Quite often I find people have the wrong idea, wrong perception of Jesus. If they were to characterize Jesus’ life as honeymoon or reality - many people assume honeymoon.

They think about the Jesus stories they’ve heard or seen and reason, heck when there were storms, Jesus could calm them.

When he was hungry - he could make extra value meals out of a few fish and loaves of bread.

When there was sickness - he could cure it.

Jesus’ life was honeymoon - all honeymoon even when he was killed - he resurrected. But in reality his life - what he endured, lived through, experienced was the very reality you and I face and most of it isn’t too much honeymoon.

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