by Dave Miller
In the midst of our brokenness and a world gone awry there is hope for humanity. There is one who did what Adam did not and could not do. No more luscious gardens, flowing rivers, and juicy fresh fruits, instead a dry, hot, barren wilderness. A man, whose mother was Mary, named Jesus made his way out into the elements for 40 days, fasting and praying to listen to his Father’s voice.
The first few days were tough, headaches, hunger pains, and a desire just to chew something, but then exhaustion set in. Headaches were the least of his concern, because with each passing day his strength evaded him. The hot winds, dust, and relentless sun only exaserbated his decreasing strength and need for food. But the Father had led him here by his Spirit to listen carefully and closely to his voice. Jesus’ ministry was about to begin, he had come to seek and to save the lost and the task would not be easy.
The serpent of old realizes this man isn’t like the others. His hunger and loyalty to the Father supersedes anything he has seen in the past. It was time to act. In shrewd fashion he crafted the perfect temptation for the Son of God, it had worked the first time with Adam and Eve so why not now.
“If you are the Son of God,” he said. “Command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Mat. 4:3).
Just like in the garden the Father said don’t eat and Satan says eat. The temptation is twice that of Adam:
Adam wasn’t starving hungry.
Adam didn’t have the ability to re-create anything.
But this man, Jesus, does not fail. He is loyal to and follows the authority of his Father, the Word.
“It is written,” Jesus declared.
‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Mat. 4:4).
Don’t miss this monumental moment. The man Jesus has succeeded where Adam epically failed. When tempted and tried, Jesus trusts in the authority of what God has spoken. Not only that, but he refuses to give up his authority on earth for a temporal need no matter how pressing. But Satan was not done. If at first you don’t destroy, try, try again.
The second time Satan tempts with the Word of God on the pinnacle of the temple mount high in the air.
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone” (Mat. 4:6).
Satan used the same old tactics. I know what God says, but will he really keep his word? With Eve he challenged God’s will to act according to his word, “You will not surely die.” With Jesus he challenged God’s will to act according to his word, “He will command his angels concerning you.” Simply put, Satan knew the Father would not let the “Holy One” be hurt, so he tempted Jesus to jump in order to prove God’s will to act. But Jesus needed no test to trust the Word of his Father.
“Again it is written,” Jesus declared.
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Mat. 4:7).
Satan went for a third try.
The kingdoms of the world and all their glory, all that you can see on this mountain, can be yours Jesus! “All these I will give you,” Satan promised. “If you will fall down and worship me” (Mat. 4:9).
Recognize this attempt? You can have what God is withholding from you Adam and Eve, if you will just listen to me and eat the fruit. The old lie is back, God is keeping you from something you should rightfully have, so take it! Satan does his best to convince, you can have what God wants to give you without the cross and shame, if you will just fall down and worship me. Lies, lies, and more lies. Then Jesus said to him:
“Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’” (Mat. 4:10).
Satan leaves Jesus.
Where Adam had failed as an image-bearing ambassador Jesus has prevailed. The man Jesus has obeyed perfectly and the image of God shines clearly for all to see. Instead of doubting the Word of God, Jesus holds true to the Word and does not waiver or add. Nothing would deter the God-Man from accomplishing the purpose for which he was sent. Nothing would stop the ultimate image-bearing ambassador of God from exercising his authority in heaven and on earth. Nothing would stop his perfect life, ministry, journey to the cross, and glorious resurrection from the dead.
Up Next: The Perfect Sacrifice
Until there's #NoPlaceLeft...
Sentergy: When Jesus, People, Practice and Theology Collide
Chapter 1: The Glory of God
Chapter 2: The Glory of God in Jesus
Chapter 3: The Glory of God in the Gospel
Chapter 4: The Glory of God in Disciple Making
Chapter 5: If You Love Me You Will Obey What I Command
Chapter 6: Monday Morning Disciple Making
Chapter 7: Monday Morning Disciple Making Part 2
Interlude: The Father's Heart
Conclusion: The Lump In Your Throat