Wednesday Word 3.15.2017
Matthew 4:1-11 New International Version
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Testing. Lent is a time to test ourselves, a time to try and assess our attitudes and behavior. Is what we are doing with our days taking us closer to God or pushing us farther away? Do our attitudes reflect the teachings of Jesus? Do we act like we belong to God? I am strangely comforted that Jesus was also tested. When I think of how he could have just blown Satan to bits, I am encouraged. Jesus stood firm and answered the challenge. Can I do the same? My temptations pale by comparison, but they are troublesome to me. I am afraid I don’t handle them nearly as well.
The responses Jesus gives Satan come from the teachings found in the Book of Deuteronomy, where Moses is trying to impress upon the people just how God expects them to live. We are to live by his word. We are to worship and serve him only. We are most certainly not to test him. Are we guilty of this? Do we ever ask for proof of something? Do we ever challenge God by demanding to know “why?” Are we impatient and wish to follow our own time frame instead of God’s? This is a good time to evaluate our attitude towards God. Do we show him the proper respect? Do we get that he is God Almighty and we are like the grasses of the field (Isaiah 40:6-8)? I mean, really get it? These are not easy questions. They deserve our attention…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki