Faithlife Sermons

Wouldn't It Be Easier

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Introduction

Illustration:
In a time before smartphones and Gps’
Uncle Danny Shortcut
My dad would give him directions to go somewhere...
Nicholas Cruz 19 years old
But he always had a shortcut
That got us to the same place far later than
This was me, a lot of the time, when it came to repairing…really most things I try to repair myself...
This was me, a lot of the time, when it came to repairing…really most things I try to repair myself...
I’ll figure it out...
Only to now have 3 new things broken but the original problem was fixed…right?
Or I drop a wrench deep into a space I
Hid among the students
Transition
How many of you have been in a situation where the more you put your hands on something the more it seems to fall apart?
The more you “fix it” the more you seem to break it...
I wonder if this can be a picture of our life choices at times
We think the way that is narrow, the path that we follow Jesus on...
Only to see that
Seems to be far too difficult only to learn it causes us to take uncle danny shortcuts through life.
Went to Walmart and got a drink at Subway
Sat down at Mcdonalds
Transition
Who hasn’t been told an easier way out...
Temptation is a draw toward something we ought not to do… a seduction...
When we look at the pains we experience and the
Where is God when we consider
We know oftentimes there is pain involved
Maybe pain of failure
Transition to text
This morning we will be looking at the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness
And after seeing the pains and horrors of something like what took place in Florida this week
I can really understand why Thomas Manton…a English Puritan from the 1600s described this scene as combat
Jesus and the Devil...

The Lord Jesus Christ was pleased to submit himself to an extraordinary combat with the tempter, for our good.

Jesus and the devil
The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent
Let’s go there together

Turn with me to page 658

He is led out by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness in order to be tempted
the Holy Spirit, as described in Mark’s gospel says he was thrust out or thrown into the desert by the Holy Spirit
vs. 3: Since you are God…tell these stones to become bread”
the message of the tempter:
Wouldn’t it be easier…to just

Wouldn’t it be easier…to do it yourself?

Wouldn’t it be easier to use the divine power that you have to make something to nourish yourself
This is the kind of messiah, the kind of savior they were expecting. One who could deliver them from the oppression of the Romans...
Depend on no one and beat our enemy!
He wouldn’t need to depend on anyone…even God
Think about it…the eternal word of God…who was one with the father in eternity past
The one who brought the world into existence:
you see, All that we see depends on someone or something else...
I depended on my parents to bring me into existence AND to sustain me through childhood
The universe itself depends on something to bring it into existence...
?kalam?
whatever begins to exist has a cause
the universe began to exist
The universe has a cause:
That cause is timeless, spaceless, immaterial, immeasurable powerful…and depends on no one!
But Him…God…depends on no one!
But we know that Jesus would, in some way that is beyond our ability to grasp, decided this equality with God not something to hold tightly too
Philippians 2:5–7 NASB95
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
He who depended on no one depended on many…In his life…So that many can depend on him…in his death
So many can depend on him…in his death
1 Thessalonians 5:10 NIV
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
1 thess
Application
When it comes to this temptation in our lives...Isn’t it tempting to think that our greatest need is to eat
or our greatest need is to work
Or have money or things?
Or a family
And since we say these are needs
Than we think..
Wouldn’t it be quicker and easier to just make that the focus of everything I have rather than God himself?
Or our greatest need is to build a family?
Don’t fall for it…it’s an uncle danny shortcut
Isn’t it true the most you focus on these things…or the lack of these things…the more of it you need?
It’s important to work…It’s even good to wo
Look at Jesus’ response in vs. 4
But are these the most important things...
Jesus quotes from
Deuteronomy 8:2–3 NIV
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Since I need these things...
This entire scene is a way in which Jesus is victorious through the wilderness unlike the Israelites...
So the idea is not that we don’t eat…
It’s that our greatest hunger is Jesus!
Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
And here emerges the theme for this year again...
HE IS BETTER!
To take contr
You see if Jesus did this he would no longer be tempted as we are
Hebrews 4:15–16 NIV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
He is better!
Wouldn’t it be easier…to do it yourself?
Transition
Then he is taken to the holy City

Wouldn’t it be easier…To hear what you want?

He quotes from but leaves out a key phrase
Psalm 91:11–12 NIV
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
“In all your ways”
Is it God’s way to show off the power that he has or is it his way to go through the meek and the mild?
You see at the end of the temptation the angels came (vs. 11).
Isaiah 55:8–9 NIV
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Application
I think this is an obvious temptation of reading the word of God to fill in the blanks of our ideas
Isaiah 55:8–9 NIV
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We call this confirmation bias
How many of us have not been guilty of wanting something to be true so bad that we read it INTO the text rather than out of...
This is why the goal of Bible study is to read what the author’s wanted to share…ultimately the Holy SPirit lead them to say…not approaching it with “I think this already let’s get it to say something else”
exegesis---eisegesis
This is the value of studying it with others. They can say “no…it doesn’t say that”
Temptation 2: The Will
That’s not all you live on!
TeTemptation
Temptation
When we do this...
That’s not it!
We end up simply using God for our own benefit
Wandering in the wilderness could have taken 6 weeks but instead took 40 years so they may see what was in their heart?
Which is actually the purpose of what the Devil is trying to do with Jesus here and why Jesus quotes “don't’ put God to the test”
Temptation 1: Intellect-Materialism
We see God as as cosmic vending machine
Where we just want to get the coke and avoiud the grape soda at all costs!
you can do anything you want to do and they will follow you
illustration? push coke and get grape soda?
Maybe this is a reflection of our reading of scripture and why many end up rejecting it...
The vending machine is broken
This keeps saying stuff I don’t like so I am gonna put it down and have someone else explain it away for me..
ILLUSTRATION: DRIVE THROUGH ASH WEDNESDAY, ASH WEDNESDAY ON THE TRAIN
Transition
Final temptation
Wouldn’t it be easier…to do it yourself?
Transition
Then he is taken to the holy City
Wouldn’t it be easier…To hear what you want?
Wandering in the wilderness could have taken 6 weeks but instead took 40 years so they may see what was in their heart?
Temptation 2: The Will
become religious to fulfill your purpose

Wouldn’t it be easier…to take it without the weight of death

we all call on God
God is like a cosmic vending machine
Using God
The Devil says
I’ll give this all to you…just worship me...
I will
Don’t go through the agony of death...
But rather instead simply take it...
Just take the glory...
Just take the victory...
The pleasure within the sacred
Just take the win...
This was not the last time the devil would try to keep him from the cross:
walking with his disciples
Matthew 16:21 NIV
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Matthew 16:22–23 NIV
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Best way to win a fight…Don’t fight
This was the devil’s hope...
because without the death there is no forgiveness...
Hebrews 9:22 NIV
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
But think about it for us…without the death there is no forgiveness...
we want to go our own way down we?
Take our own route...
Try to clena up our lives enough...
Try to get good enough
But we stand not as people who have been good enough
But with a God who like us has been tempted in ever way…yet was without sin!
Romans 6:3–4 NIV
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
This is the offer this morning...
If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ...
Depended on his death!
Identified with his death!
Toi live a new life...
Today is the day!
We will fill the baptistry and dunk you today
Don’t try to go another way!
We see this temptation event as a glimpse into the fact that Jesus throughout his life…was tempted... in every way…yet was victorious
because we have one who was tempted in every way…yet was victorious
Hebrews 4:15–16 NIV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
I’ll give you all of it
Killed 17, 14 injured
Killed 17, 14 injured
Nicholas Cruz 19 years old
Hid among the students
Went to Walmart and got a drink at Subway
Sat down at Mcdonalds
His temptation is on the backdrop of His baptism
The temptation of Jesus---
Thomas Manton describes it as a combat
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