“The Temptation of Christ”
BIBLE READING: Matthew 4; Luke 4-5; John 1. 15-51
The writer of Hebrews tells us that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15). That means that Jesus had to endure temptation, to make a way for us to overcome. The accounts of Matthew and Luke 4 give us a vivid picture of what that temptation was like for Jesus. Fresh off His baptism, Jesus goes into wilderness to pray and fast for forty days to prepare Himself for His ministry. While He is at maybe his weakest point physically, Satan sees this as an opportunity to feel out Jesus. On three separate accounts the Devil does His best to lure Jesus into His trap of giving up on his purpose by giving in to his physical and emotional desires. It must have been tempting to turn those stones to bread after fasting for forty days, but it wasn’t worth giving the Devil the satisfaction. It also must have been difficult to not jump off that Temple and prove his deity as Satan has called into question. Finally, it must have been alluring to have all the kingdoms of the world come to Jesus, without having to go through the pain and humiliation of the cross, but not at the expense of bowing down to Satan. I wonder how we would reacted to these same temptations given the same circumstances. We probably would not have made it past the stones to bread. That is what makes Jesus so special to us as a Savior. His humanity allows us to know that he understands what we go through when we are tempted. He feels our pain, our desires and our cravings to be satisfied. Yet He paints us a picture of what true satisfaction is all about…sacrifice.