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Temptation in the Wilderness

Apr 18 2021

One of the unexpected benefits of the covid-19 pandemic has been the chance to revitalize some material that I either haven't done a lot lately, or haven't performed much at all, then share these routines on Sunday mornings in our home church in Casco, Maine. This was true this morning when I shared my temple screen illusion with which I discuss Jesus' being tempted in the wilderness as recorded in Luke chapter 4.  Suddenly this routine, which has been nothing more than filler over the years,  had new life and meaning.  What follows is the passage with my commentary in CAPS.  This is not exactly how I presented it in church today, but it is my thoughts on this passage while recently studying it.

 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

I LOVE THE OBVIOUS STATEMENT HERE. HE DIDN'T EAT FOT 40 DAYS AND HE WAS HUNGRY.  THANK YOU FOT CONNECTING THOSE DOTS FOR ME, LUKE.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.

TYPICALLY I READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT HOW JESUS USES SCRIPTURE TO ANSWER EVERY TEMPTATION, WHICH IS TRUE AND WISE, THIS TIME, THOUGH, I READ IT LOOKING AT THE TEMPTATIONS THEMSELVES. SATAN KNEW WHO JESUS, SO WHATEVER TEMPTATIONS HE USED WERE THE BIG GUNS.   NO FOOLING AROUND WITH THE SMALL STUFF IF HE WAS GOING TO BRING JESUS DOWN.

SO WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT THIS FIRST TEMPTATION? IT IS A TEMPTATION OF COMFORT. YOU"RE HUNGRY...SO EAT.  WE ARE A CULTURE WHO IS ADDICTED TO COMFORT, BUT SOMETIMES -OFTEN, EVEN - WE ARE CALLED TO SACRIFICE OR EVEN SUFFER.

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

NOTICE THE TEMPTATION SATAN USES HERE.  WORSHIP ME AND YOU CAN REIGN ALL THE WORLD'S KINGDOMS.  HE LITERALLY IS ASKING JESUS TO SELL HIS SOUL FOR POLITICAL GAIN.  THE AMERICAN CHURCH TODAY - LEFT AND RIGHT- IS FACE TO FACE WITH THIS TEMPTATION CONSTANTLY.  HOWEVER, IT IS THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP, NOT THE WHITE HOUSE, THAT GOD WILL USE TO BRING ABOUT HIS WILL BEING DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.  IN FACT, WHEN OUR POLITICIANS ACTUALLY DO ACCOMPLISH GOD'S WORK, IT IS USUALLY BY PURE ACCIDENT.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’c]">

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’

12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time

FINALLY, SATAN QUOTES GOD'S WORD IN THIS FINAL TEMPTATION BY QUOTING FROM THE PSALMS. THE PROBLEM IS, SATAN IS PULLING THIS VERSE OUT OF CONTEXT.  SCRIPTURE IS NOT A SERIES OF FORTUNE COOKIES EACH MEANT TO STAND ALONE.  

COMFORT, POLITICAL MEANS TO SPIRITUAL ENDS, AND MISHANDLING SCRIPTURE WERE THE THREE TEMPTATIONS SATAN USED AGAINST JESUS. MAY WE BE ON GUARD AGAINST THEM.

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