Matthew 4:1-11 “Powerful Temptation” 03/21/2010

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ " Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, "He will command his angels concerning you,’ and "On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ " Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ " Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ " Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Jesus was temped with a loaf of bread, testing the scriptures, and a palace with 10,000 mile view.

I don’t know if we can actually relate to these…

maybe there are foods not on our healthy died that we are tempted to eat, but its more than dieting.

At stake: WORSHIP: Set apart to be with God in name only.

APPROVAL: Amazing crowds seeing Jesus’ glory and protection as Mighty Messiah

POWER: using God’s power for his own gain

It the Physical Our Priority?

If there is no other witness, does it matter how you behave?

FASTing for forty days.. he had nothing to eat. He had to have had water, but ate nothing..

Focusing all of his presence, all of his senses, all of his being… undistracted and uncluttered.

Look out across the desert and stones look like loaves of bread..

Temptation & the Body: Something stimulates or even anticipate stimulation: our senses & we react.

We are drawn to the fire for warmth… sometimes we get burned

We are thirsty and we drink.. sometimes we confuse what we thirsty for..

We feel safe in the company of others… sometimes we are not comfortable with our trust self

We feel safe when we are alone… some times we are avoiding being together.

Jesus’ temptation is not only about a single loaf of bread… it is about what we are feeding first:

In the event of a mid-air crisis and we loose cabin pressure, a mask will drop down,

Put your own mask on so that you can assist others.

Before Jesus can begin his ministry, he must be prepared, conditioned and spiritually read.

Would a loaf of bread prepare his spirit? No when he was fasting..

BOTTOM LINE: We know Jesus knows what it means to make his body and things in the world his priority.

Fasting is about giving our bodies to God: To satisfy the body’s hunger does not necessarily help us.

If out of our poverty, we are called to feed the hungry in Jesus Name.

If in our personal devotion and worship we fast.. we are making a ‘thing’ not the priority.

IF we get tripped up in the little things, we will surely fail the weightier ones.

Is what I think the Priority,

What do other think about me? What do other expect of me? Who’s child am I anyway?

I have a body. Why would God make us in bodily form if God wants us to have a spiritual relationship.

If God has given us a mind, shouldn’t we use it, and use it to its fullest extent.

There is a temptation to rationalize a relationship of dependence on a creator

There are millions who believe in self willed reality – if I will it, If I think it, If I realize it in my mind,

I can make it so.., If things don’t go the way I will them, either I need to work harder or I didn’t

Actually want something in the first place.

Jesus’ temptation is not about jumping down from one building in the middle of town for all to see..

It is about the struggle for what is real, what is true, what has meaning…

Q: Is Jesus thinking of Jesus first or God first?

Q: Wouldn’t jumping off the temple draw a crowd and folks would be impressed!

Certainly Jesus could call legions of help to protect him from every danger, but simply knowing something is possible doesn’t make it true. It’s possible I will load the dishwasher… I can visualize it in my head, but not yet have I experienced it to be actual, no matter my intellectual accent, study or focus.

Bottom Line on Using our Minds..

A Mind is a terrible thing to waste.. on pride, greed, and fear..

Jesus faces having the right answer vs being in the right relationship with God.

You can know all there is to know about the scriptures and not find God in your own heart.

Jesus Chooses to know the scriptures, but to Love the God above them…

If we don’t want to think about something, we won’t be accountable for it, right? (sarcasm)

Power Spiritual Priority..

Giving power tools to an infant.. sounds dangerous.

Giving car keys and a cell phone to a seven year old… sounds foolish.

Giving the presidential ‘football’ with nuclear key codes to a world with nutty folks.. un-thinkable.

If we are indeed people of body and earth… the stuff we have been created of..

If we are indeed given a powerful mind and personal will.

Why not use our body, our things, our knowledge and experience, to do as much good as we can.

Surely God is and wants to see more of us..

More than rule followers. More than users of creation / more than passengers

Aren’t we suppose to do as much good as we can?

Jesus’ temptation is to use God’s power, gifts and love for our will rather than God’s.

Our Temptation is to use the power, gifts, life and love for our will, over Gods…

Example: When we begin to build the “I’ve earned it” attitude… This is my pew, my pulpit, my service,

my gift, even our church, our work,..

Taking a political view of a spiritual relationship: Using people to make our self comfortable or

Protecting our turf.. when it is God’s to start with..

Think about your own experience and the power of temptation: (long before the devil shows up, I can find plenty that tempts my body, my mind, and my use of God’s gifts. SO WHAT? Better stick with Jesus.. he made it through alive.. I choose life, so I follow Jesus.

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