Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,a 2where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
3Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
4But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’b”
So imagine you’ve just gone 40 days with no food and this smarty-pants guy starts getting in your face. “Hey, if you’re such a big shot Son of God prove it. Turn this stone into a loaf of bread!”
I don’t know about you, but after 40 days I’m going to be very hangry (hungry + angry). Now I’m questioned about who I am, which is really a question about my authority and respectability, by the guy that has caused most of the trouble in the entire universe. I’d show him who was boss, eat that loaf of bread, kick is red-tailed ass and be done with it.
And if Jesus would have done that, he would have failed his mission and we would all be doomed to a hot eternity with the sore-ass red-tailed guy.
You see, Jesus’ mission was to be the perfect sinless sacrifice that died for our sins on our cross. He had to be sinless, which means always doing the will of God and listening to the devil (note that Jesus is doing the opposite of Adam and Eve) is not doing God’s will. So Jesus remains calm, makes the right decision, and goes on.
The lesson for us could be to stay calm. It could be to not listen to Satan. It could be to have will power. But maybe the biggest lesson is that we need to be alone with God and learn who we are and what his mission is for us, and then focus on that mission. Think about how this temptation changes for Jesus if he isn’t sure who he is or why he is here. In that case it would be so hard to look past this hangry moment and the irritating guy beside you because Jesus wouldn’t have know what he was looking forward to. But if Jesus knows his mission and knows what’s at stake, now this moment is just another pothole in the road, not the end of the road.
Lord, help me to seek the “who” and the “why” of my life, and help me to seek it knowing that my life really isn’t mine at all…it is yours.
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