Presentation on theme: "Why the Temptation of Christ? Luke 4: 1 - 13. Temptation – Luke Sets the Stage Luke 4: 1 - 3 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordon."— Presentation transcript:
Why the Temptation of Christ? Luke 4: 1 - 13
Temptation – Luke Sets the Stage Luke 4: 1 - 3 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordon and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.
Understated Drama! Two giants of the Cosmos Converging on a scene of desolation Like 2 Boxers circling each other One beginning his mission, –Enemy Territory –Arriving badly wounded state The Other … –Confident –Home Turf –Seized the Initiative
3 Requests Luke 4: 3 - 8 And the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread”. And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’. “And he led Him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, I will give You all this domain and its glory, for it has been handed over to me and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord Your God and serve him only.”
3 Requests (Continued) Luke 4: 9 - 13 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You’, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered, and said to him, “It is said, “You shall not put the Lord Your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
What’s the Big Deal? Satan had 3 requests…. 1.Turn a Stone to Bread 2.Offered him all the Kingdoms of the World if He would bow before him. 3.Jump off a high place to test God’s promise of physical safety After all wouldn’t Christ shortly after this… –Multiply bread for 4,000 and 5,000? –Conquer death and Rise Again to become King of Kings –Far more impressive! Except for the devils request to worship him, they do not seem that evil in themselves. Clearly there is something pivotal occurring in the desert
Historical Views Gerald Manley Hopkins (British Poet) “something of a get acquainted session between Jesus and Satan. In the dark about the Incarnation, Satan did not know for certain whether Jesus was an ordinary man or theophany or perhaps an angel with limited powers like himself. He challenged Jesus to perform miracles as a means of scouting his adversary’s powers”.
Historical Views Martin Luther Speculates that throughout Jesus’ life, he “conducted himself so humbly and was associated with sinful men and women and as a consequence was not held in great esteem”, on account of which “the devil overlooked him and did not recognize him. For the devil is farsighted; he looks only for what is big and high and attaches himself to that; he does not look at that which is low down and beneath himself.”
Why The Temptation? Was it simply a “get acquainted session” between Jesus & the devil? Was it so the Devil would “recognize him”? Was it a test to see how Jesus would fare with all of his new human constraints? Why not simply put an end to Satan, human suffering, saving human history from his evil plans?
The Tests 1.“If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread” Prove yourself…Dazzle Me…Act Like God would act! 2.“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning You to guard You”. If you have such a great God, He’ll take care of You. Prove your Trust in God! 3.“I will give to you all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship me it shall be yours” Your God leads You into the desert…What Kind of a God is That? Look at the benefits I can offer!
Jesus’ Response “Man shall not live by bread alone” “You shall not put the Lord your God to a test” “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” Jesus response – Only God makes those decisions, therefore I do nothing at your command….the Miracle of Restraint!
The Miracle of Restraint Steadfast refusal to perform miracles outside of God’s will..… –Satan suggested –Pharisees demanded –I yearn for Absolute trust in the Father’s Plan –Power to live as though God does not exist –Spit in his face –Reject Him –Crucify Him
Result of Turning Down the Temptation Put God’s reputation ‘at risk’ His Plan was based fatally flawed humans Allowed Satan freedom to tempt again…”When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time” (vs. 15)
An Enticing Alternative Phillip Yancey (The Jesus I Never Knew) “As I look back on the three temptations, I see that Satan proposed an enticing improvement. He tempted Jesus toward the good parts of being human without the bad. To savor the taste of bread without being subject to the fixed rules of hunger and agriculture, to confront risk with no real danger, to enjoy fame and power without the prospect of painful rejection – in short, to wear a crown but not the cross. (The temptation that Jesus resisted but many of his followers still long for.)”
An Enticing Alternative “Jesus had but to give a nod of agreement and he could have constructed Christendom, not on four shaky gospels and a defeated man nailed to a Cross, but on a basis of sound socio-economic planning and principles…Every utopian dream could have been achieved. Acclaimed equally in London School of Economics, and the Harvard Business School; a statue in Parliament Square and an even bigger one on Capital Hill and in Red Square…Instead, He turned the offer down on the ground that only God should be worshiped.”
A Contrast Satan’s Power Coerce Dazzle Forced Obedience Relentless dependence on Human Force Appears Powerful
A Contrast Satan’s PowerGod’s Power CoerceGentle DazzleRestrained Forced ObedienceInternal Relentless dependence on Human Force Relentless Dependence on Human Choice Appears PowerfulAppears Powerless
Pravda Mouth piece of Communist Party Served the “Communist Church” With Fall, distribution fell from 11 MM to 0.7 MM Editor-in-Chief “We don’t know how to motivate people to show compassion….though we have many of the same ideals of equality, sharing, justice and racial harmony….We tried to raise money for the children of Chernobyl, but the average Russian citizen would rather spend his money on drink. How do you reform and motivate people? How do you get them to be good” Goodness cannot be legislated from the Kremlin or enforced at the point of a Gun. Attempts to compel morality tend to produce defiant subjects and tyrannical rulers who lose their moral core.
Jesus Pattern Rich Young Ruler (Mk 10: 21) Jesus felt love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack; go and sell all you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving… Did not twist his arm Provided the choice and the consequence Let him walk away
Jesus Pattern ( Matt. 16:24) “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” The least coercive invitation ever given!
George MacDonald Life Essential, The Hope of the Gospel “Instead of crushing the power of evil by divine force; Instead of compelling justice and destroying the wicked; Instead of making peace on earth by the rule of the perfect prince; Instead of gathering the children of Jerusalem under his wings whether they want it or not, and saving them from the horrors that anguished His prophetic soul…. He let evil work its will while he lived He contended Himself with the slow unencouraging ways of help essential; making men good, casting out not merely controlling Satan…. To love righteousness is to make it grow, not avenged it. He resisted every impulse to work more rapidly for the lower good.”
Why the Temptation? Hebrews 2:18 / 4:16 “For since He (Christ) Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted”. “Let us therefore, draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need”.
What Kind of Jesus do You Want? Over whelm your doubts with certainty? Provide final proof of his Existence / Concern More Active in … –World Affairs. Every Asked, “Why did God do nothing, Sit on his hands” Iraq Hunger Disease Earth Quakes –Personal Life Spectacular answers to prayer Healing for myself Safety for Loved ones God without Ambiguity …One I can point to with Doubting Friends
Personal Application What should I do when I face my own temptations? My prayer is that I will….. Thank God that Christ never took the short cut Thank God that Christ relied on the Father’s Plan, Care and Provision Seek the Father’s will through His Word & Prayer Resist the urge to seize control myself to “Help God” accomplish his purposes Have patience to allow God to work in His slow, gentle way
"Praise You In This Storm" Casting Crowns I was sure by now God You would have reached down And wiped our tears away Stepped in and saved the day But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining As the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper Through the rain, "I'm with you“ And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away And I'll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands, For You are who You are, No matter where I am And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand, You never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm I remember when I stumbled in the wind You heard my cry to you And you raised me up again My strength is almost gone How can I carry on if I can't find You But as the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you" And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away I lift my eyes unto the hills Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
The “Opportune” Time Peter objected to Christ’s statement of his suffering and death (Matt. 16:22 – 23), “God forbid it Lord, this shall never happen to you”. Jesus response, “Get behind me Satan...for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests but man’s.” Nailed to the Cross… ”Aren’t you the Christ”. “Save yourself and us”…”Let him come down from the cross and we will believe in Him…Let God rescue Him now if he wants”.
What Should Messiah Look Like? People’s Messiah – Turn stones into bread to feed the hungry Torrah Messiah – Standing tall at the pinnacle of the Temple King Messiah – Ruling over all the Kingdoms of the earth
Historical Views John Milton “Paradise Lost” “Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal test brought Death into the World, and all our woe, With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top of SINAI, didst inspire…. “