The Temptations Of Christ
THE TEMPTATIONS OF CHRIST Matthew 4:1–11
In English tempt always means to entice to do wrong, to seek, to seduce into sin. The word to tempt in Greek peirazein has a quite different element in its meaning. It means to test far more than it means to entice into sin .It is not meant to weaken us, it is meant to make us emerge stronger and finer, and purer from the ordeal. Temptation is not the penalty of being a man or woman, temptation is the glory of being human.
Retreat into the desert. It may well be that we often go wrong simply because we never try to be quietly alone with God . There are certain things which we have to work out in silence.
Baptism of Jesu. It is one of the truths of life that after every great moment there comes a moment of reaction—and again and again it is in the reaction that the danger lies. It seems to be the law of life that just after our resistance power has been highest it nose-dives until it is at its lowest. The tempter carefully, subtly, and skillfully chose his time to attack Jesus—but Jesus conquered him. We will do well to be specially on our guard after every time life has brought us to the heights, for it is just then that we are in gravest danger of the depths.
In the desert Jesus won a battle but not the war. The tempter came to him again and again. The temper spoke again to Jesus at Caesarea Philippi when Peter tried to dissuade him from taking the way to the Cross , and when he had to say to Peter the very same words he had said to the tempter in the wilderness. “Begone Satan” (Matthew 16:23). At the end of the day Jesus could say to his disciples, “You are those who have continued with me in my trials” (Luke 22:28). And never in all history was there such a fight with temptation as Jesus waged in Gethsemane when the tempter sought to deflect him from the Cross (Luke 22:42–44).The Christian fight against evil goes on to the very end of our life. Sometimes people grow worried because they think that they should reach a stage when they are beyond temptation, a stage at which the power of the tempter is for ever broken. Jesus never reached that stage. From the beginning to the end of the day he had to fight his battle: that is why he can help us to fight ours.
This was an inward personnel struggle. It is Jesus telling us his own inward spiritual struggle. We must always approach this story with special reverence, for in it Jesus is laying bare his inmost heart and soul. He is telling us what he went through and how he overcame evil so that we might do the same.
To use our gifts in the wrong way
Jesus had special gifts and powers and he knew he had them. We must always remember that again and again we will be tempted through our gifts.
There was the temptation to turn the stones into bread.The temptation to use power selfishly and for one’s own benefit. God has given everyone a gift, and we can ask one of two questions. What can I make for myself out of this gift? or, What can I do for others with this gift? There is no reason why he should not use our gifts it to make money. However there is every reason why we should use it only for making money. The sure way to persuade people to follow him was to give them bread, to give them material things. That would have been to bribe people to follow him. He called us to a life of self giving, not of self getting.
The real hunger is a hunger of the human heart which material things cannot satify . Jesus answered the tempter in the very words which express the lesson which God had sought to teach his people in the wilderness: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). The only way to true satisfaction is the way which has learned complete dependence on God.
There is no one who will not be tempted to use selfishly the gift which God has given .
Signs and wonders .On the top of the roof of the Temple itself there was a stance where every morning a priest stood with a trumpet in his hands, waiting for the first flush of the dawn across the hills of Hebron. At the first dawn light he sounded the trumpet to tell everyone that the hour of morning sacrifice had come. Why should not Jesus stand there, and leap down right into the Temple court, and amaze people into following him? This was the very method that the false Messiahs who were continually arising promised. There were two good reasons why Jesus should not adopt that course of action. First, he who seeks to attract people to him by providing them with wonders has adopted a way in which there is no future for to retain power you must produce ever greater and greater wonders. A Gospel founded on wonders is doomed to failure. Second, that is not the way to use the power of God.” You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,” said Jesus (Deuteronomy 6:16). God expects us to take risks in order to be true to him, but he does not expect us to take risks to enhance our own prestige. The very faith which is dependent on signs and wonder is not faith. If faith cannot believe without wonders it is not really faith, it is doubt looking for proof and looking in the wrong place. God’s rescuing power is not something to be played and experimented with, it is something to be quietly trusted in the life of every day.
The way of the world. It was the world that Jesus came to save, and into his mind there came a picture of the world. The tempting voice said: Don’t condemn the world! Don’t speak the whole truth. Come to terms with the ways of the world. Don’t follow God so strictly. Just a little evil is okay. Then people will follow you in great numbers.. It was the temptation to try to advance by retreating, to try to change the world by becoming like the world. Back came Jesus answer: “You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve him and swear by his name” (Deuteronomy 6:13). Jesus was quite certain that we can never defeat evil by compromising with evil.
Jesus decided that he must never bribe anyone into following him
He decided that the way of wonders was not for him
He decided that there could be no going the way of the world in the message he preached and in the faith he demanded.
That choice to follow the truth ,to follow God in the end meant the Cross—but the Cross in the end meant the final victory.
Genesis: First Reading. I told you that God would never work in this world without our co-operation. We looked at Genesis where God said to Adam and Eve. Let them have dominion over this world and everything in it. With these words God laid down the rule that without man God will not. When God said let them have dominion Satan was strongly bound by these words. Without man Satan cannot. Without man’s agreement Satan could not have entered into this world. Adam was more at fault than Eve for he was instructed to tend the garden and to guard it. He had authority over the garden and over Eve. After Eve ate the fruit the Bible tells us that she gave some to Adam who was standing right next to her. Adam failed on two counts. 1/ He failed to guard the garden. 2 / He failed to eject the serpent remaining silent as the serpent enticed his wife into sin. Only with their agreement did Satan enter into our world. Remember Satan has no hands but our hands to kill, to steal to destroy. Only our mouth with which to lie, to back bite, to curse God, to destroy a person’s reputation. Remember Paul prays that we might be saved from these wicked and evil men. Be saved from the evil one who works through such wicked and evil people. Satan is not a fool, he knows that if he shows himself openly no one would follow him and so the first principle of Satan ,the first principal of evil is that is that evil always tries to hide itself .Satan never shows himself openly .the first . He tries to reverse things so that at the end of the day we will call the good evil and evil good .He reverses things by changing words ,by hiding behind words. So that the killing of a child in the womb, abortion becomes a woman’s right to choose .You see what he has done he has changed the name and made it seem that evil is good and good is evil. The same for homosexuality, the sin of sodomy .It is clearly laid out many times that in the bible that this sin is detestable in the sight of God. In the book of Levticus it goes into the detail it leaves out nothing .It says what is detestable to God. It forbids Men having sexual intercourse with men. Women having sexual relations with women It states that parents are to have no sexual relations with their children. It even tells us that we are not to have sexual relations with animals. It is explicit in what is right and what is wrong. See how Satan has reversed things. People who are homosexual are no longer called by that name. They are called Gay people. They have taken this word that originally meant, happy, joyful, and placed it onto what is sinful. Any sexual perversion is now called a persons right to choose. The killing of old people who are sick or not in their right mind .It is not called by its right name any longer Murder they call it being merciful ie mercy killing or Euthanasia. On and on it goes. Good is bad, bad is good. Paul prays with good reason save us from these evil men from the evil one. In the election in America it was a choice not between two men but between two principals. Kerry and his party were for abortion, they were for men marrying men and women marrying women, they were for the killing of the old and the sick.