Don’t Complicate Your Relationship

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone’” (Luke 4:4).

“It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’” (Luke 4:8).

“It is said, ‘You shall not force a test on the Lord your God’” (Luke 4:12).

Luke essentially tells the story of Jesus’s temptation in the same manner that Matthew did. The order of temptations is the same, and Jesus quotes the same three references that He cited in Matthew’s rendition.

We shall deal only with Satan’s third temptation today. In this instance, Satan outdoes himself by asking God incarnate to commit maximum treachery and to do something of infinite danger—to worship him and to yield ultimate authority to him insofar as ruling the earth is concerned. In turn, he shall make Jesus second in command. The earth was under the rule of Satan when the personification of evil made this proposal, but that was on account of human error, what we call original sin, for which Jesus would shortly atone.

This temptation is consummately ridiculous, as Satan is asking God to give up what is ultimately His own and to take second place to the heinous being who is in last place in any reckoning of powers and personalities! Jesus had no difficulty knowing how to answer this request.

In dealing with Satan here, Jesus refuses to complicate His relationship with the Father; simplicity is an important aspect of beauty, ultimate beauty is truth, and the Truth is God.

Dan Johnson, retired pastor of Trinity United Protestant Church in Gainesville, Florida, had this to say with regard to the temptations of the Christ: “Jesus was just about to begin his public ministry. Before one embarks on such a journey, one needs to know who he is at the core, what methods he will use, and what methods he will not use. This is what Jesus sorts out during His time of temptation.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to resist temptation and preferably to avoid it altogether. Lord, protect us from the Evil One, for we know he is smart and clever, though his wisdom is at best defective. Only Yours is infallible; thus, we come to You in our hours of need, which are essentially all the hours of our lives. We love You, and we thank You so very much for Your consideration and care. We pray in Your holy name. Amen

J. Ivey

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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