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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent 2016--Day Two

Pogača (or Poğaça), a type of bread eaten in B...
Pogača (or Poğaça), a type of bread eaten in Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Satan came with the solution to Jesus' most immediate need--food. He had not eaten for 40 days. That is probably the limit of endurance, but Jesus was confident that physical food was even less important than Spiritual sustenance. For that he drew on the Word of God. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."(RSV)

It's easy to dismiss the first temptation. Jesus is the Son of God. He didn't have to listen to the Tempter. All that was offered him was rocks turned into bread. It doesn't even sound good. But if you hadn't eaten for over a month maybe it was enhanced in your mind. Starvation can cause people to hallucinate,  become hostile, rage against their environment. In a state of deprivation, people may lose a grip on their very senses. What would we resort to if we hadn't eaten anything for 40 days? Jesus resorted to the Word of God.

The second temptation was a sign that would silence his critics. But Jesus saw it as a trap. The devil wanted to bring man to Jesus because of the signs rather than his identity with God as his Father. The followers often asked for a sign, but Jesus' message was, then, and still is today: He is the Son of God, the Savior.

The third temptation was one humans still see as a goal. Power is the ultimate source of control for many people.
To have nations and kingdoms bow down is heart thrilling. Jesus saw through that strategy, too. He wanted those nations and kingdoms to come to him because of their faith in him and not as an avenue to rise above others in power or prestige.

 If you are new to Christian faith, you may not know what the resources are, but if you are a long-time Christian, you have had exposure to the Word of God for a while. You have had time to memorize verses that address challenges and obstacles. 

It you haven't done so, start now. Hide his word in your heart. Spending time learning scripture is never wasted. It will bless you in times of loneliness. It will reassure you when trials come. It will sustain you when you feel abandoned. It will protect you from the devils wiles. It worked for Jesus, and it will work for you.