I was reading William Barclay’s study of the Book of Luke when I came to the Temptation story. In this story, Jesus had to choose the way of temporal and finite power and glory or the way of suffering and the cross. The first of the temptations had to do with food, or material things. Bread is not bad as are many things we are tempted with, but to choose them over choosing God is always wrong. The second temptation deals with compromising standards – choosing the world’s standards over God’s standards. Jesus is tempted to choose evil – worship Satan- to gain personal power and glory. The third temptation asks Jesus to do something sensational to prove his powers. Once again Satan was tempting him with immediate fulfillment.
Jesus turns his back on all Satan can throw at him. He does it by dwelling in the Word of God.
How are we tempted? We must understand that Jesus lived the same kind of life that we live for 30 years. He fully understood what it was like to be human. He understood the need for food and material things just to sustain life. But we are not to let our quest for material things override our relationship with God through Christ. We are also tempted to compromise standards – to try to get along with the world rather than to stand apart. Sometimes we might think that cheating, undercutting, or cutting corners is the way to get ahead. We might also be tempted to brag about what we perceive God has done for us! All I could think of is “healing ministries” that seem to be all for show.
How do we stand up to these daily temptations? Keep our eyes on Jesus and keep God’s Word ever before us. And give God the glory in the Name of Jesus!
Daily discipline: Try to discern each day how I am tempted to follow the world.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that I am daily attuned to your word and to the leading of the Holy Spirit that I may turn my back on the temptations of Satan, and that I can follow your son’s example in all things. Amen.