Theme:- JESUS: TEMPTED AND TRIED
Text:- The tempter came to Him and said “if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread (Matt. 4:3)
The Gospel appointed for this Sunday tells us about the temptation of our Lord Jesus Christ by Satan. The devil tempted Him with those things that were of utmost importance to Him (Jesus Christ) at the moment of the temptation. But in all this, the Lord Jesus Christ did not give in.
To have agreed to turn stones to bread, would have meant giving in to the demands of the flesh.
To have succumbed to the temptation to jump down from the pinnacle of the temple would have amounted to adopting sensational means to attract followers to Himself which would not be an ideal means of calling people into the narrow way that leads to eternal life.
To have worshiped Satan for material gains would have amounted to surrendering His power to Satan, and eventually destroy His salvific mission on earth.
Jesus’ temptation shows His human nature, and tells us that no one is above temptation. Furthermore, it shows that temptation in itself is not a sin, but giving in to it is what constitutes a sin. Jesus was tempted and tried in every way, yet he did not sin (Heb. 4:15)
The Lord’s temptation points to the fact that temptation often comes when one is most vulnerable, and also through one’s strength where one is susceptible to pride .Generally, Satan’s temptations focus on three important areas:
1) Physical needs and desires
2) Possessions and power
This is why the First Epistle of John, Chapter 2, verses 15 and 16 warn against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Most of our desires and aspirations in life are normal and good. However, they only become bad and sinful when we satisfy them in an ungodly way and at the wrong time. Therefore, we must always be on our guard against temptations from Satan and his foot soldiers through prayers, watchfulness and self control for he is always on the move seeking those he wants to devour (1 Peter 5:8)
Still nigh me, O my savior stands
And guard in fierce temptations hour
Hide in the hollow of thy hand
Show forth in me thy saving power
Still be thine arm my sure defence:
Nor earth not hell shall pluck me thence.
A & M. 90 verse 1.
The Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D