Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rebuke 3-The Wilderness

The temptations of Jesus in the wilderness occurs just before He begins His ministry and immediately after His baptism in the Jordan river, when the Holy Spirit had descended upon Jesus "like a dove" and a voice from Heaven was heard, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased" (Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22).
  • All three passages indicate that Jesus was "led by the Spirit" into the wilderness in order to be tempted by the devil/tempter/Satan. (Wilderness - implies a place-desert, reminder of Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land)(Interior disposition-mind, heart which Satan attacks) A desolate place-a place "to be tempted by the devil." 
  • The events mentioned here have taken either forty days or forty years.
          After 40 days of the flood Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. 
          People spent 40 years in the desert before entering the Promised Land.
          Moses spend 40 days and nights at Sinai fasting.
  • Jesus responds to the devil's temptations by quoting a passage from Scripture, thereby showing Jesus' reliance to the Word of God. 
  • The last temptation is that Jesus could receive (all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour), if only he worshipped Satan rather than God.
  • Luke adds, "the devil left Him [Jesus], until an opportune time," thereby implying that the devil returned entering into Judas and testing Peter, but also testing Jesus once again at Gethsemane.

In The Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray to God, "and lead us not into temptation" Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4; and at Gethsemane, Jesus tells His closest disciples to "pray that you may not enter into temptation;" Mark 14:38; Matthew 26:41; Luke 22:40,

Luke 22:46 and He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

  • God will faithfully stand by us through our trials: "No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it" 1 Corinthians 10:13.
  • The Letter of James 1:12-14 commends Christians who endure temptations and emphasizes that temptations do not come from God, but rather from one's own evil desires.

Luke 4:1  And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil.
Mark 1:12  The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness
Jesus is baptized. And this was the plan of God and the Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted.
Jesus was to encounter the tempter after Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights.
A common thing that Satan does is come to us when we are weak-Come to us when things aren't going our way. 

The three temptations that Jesus faced during His time in the desert.

FIRST Temptation
Mark 4:2 And he ate nothing in those days; Mark 9:29 Fasting is a great weapon against Satan. – It is a victory over the flesh. Moses fasted. Elijah fasted.
Mark 4:3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him,It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
The devil tried to make Jesus waiver in His faith of Who He was. He tired to get Jesus to prove that He was Jesus Christ the Son of God. The devil was attacking the identity- Know who you are

Someone who really knows who they are and what they believe, don't have to prove anything to anyone.

The devil was attacking Jesus and trying to get Jesus to question who He was. The devil knows Who Jesus is. But if the devil agreed to admitting that, he couldn't have gone ahead with the trap that he wanted to lay. So what does he come up with, the tricky thing, IF. If you are the Son of God....

The moment he added the "if" this request changed in to a setup. Because if Jesus accepted this request - it would mean that Satan would have succeeded to have made Jesus question Who He was? 
Again remember the devil did not admit that Jesus was the Son of God. He said "if you are" then "turn these stones to bread". What a deceptive question. The tempter will come in different shapes and sizes and different forms and with different strategies. Pray always. Be on guard.

Don’t stumble with the "if" questions. Stand firm knowing who you are in CHRIST.

Jesus answered every temptation with, "It is written." Satan always tries to keep us from knowing God's Word. This mighty weapon - Gods Word when spoken with faith, creates tremors in Hell.

In the first and the third temptation the devil addresses Jesus as the Son Of God. A taunt to use His power, to prove Himself. The devil is using provocation.
The temptation is to change one stone into bread to satisfy the hunger of Jesus. The temptation is to use His Messianic power for Himself. The first temptation is that of putting the need and the comfort of the human body first.
Matthew 4:3 Command these stones to become loaves of bread – recalling The Heavenly Father providing manna in the desert.

Jesus in Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

More than hunger for food is the hunger for God’s love. The Eucharist is the Living Bread. John 6:51

SECOND Temptation
Luke 4:5-8 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

No mountain name mentioned. An imaginary vision not seeing with the eyes of the body. Jesus was made to imagine Himself as a world ruler. One by one all the kingdoms of the world pass before the eyes of His mind.

The devil is a manipulator and always changes the way he makes his approach. His mode of attack has changed from the first temptation.
Jesus was alone, hungry, and thirsty. The devil seized the opportunity. The condition: "only if you bow down and worship me."
Jesus says, "it is written: worship the Lord your God only." Jesus made it clear that there is only One God that is worthy of our worship.

The devil offers Jesus the power - that The Heavenly Father will give Jesus, after His Resurrection-without going through suffering of His Passion and Death.

The authority that the devil gives is power to control and subject human beings.

Jesus answered him, “It is written, Jesus uses Word Of God to rebuke the devil."

THIRD Temptation
Luke 4:9-12 And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him 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 give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’

Jesus had countered the devil with the Word (in His response) in the first and the second temptation. With a change in strategy the devil now quotes the scripture-Psalms; in order to tempt Jesus.
Jesus states "it is written: do not put the Lord your God to the test" When temptation comes Trust in the Power of The Word alone.
Climax of the temptation scene is in the temple in Jerusalem. For Luke, Jerusalem is the goal of Jesus. The Gospel begins and ends in the temple in Jerusalem.
Question, doubt, put the Father’s love to the test especially after the Father has said in Luke 3:22- “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
  • Force the Father to work a miracle. 
  • To make the Father do what I want (rather than submit to God’s will)
  • Israel’s sin the desert precisely this-they put the Lord to the test. (Exodus 17:1-7)

Psalm 91:11-12 For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. The devil quotes the scripture to tempt Jesus. And Jesus answered him, “It is said,Jesus uses the Word Of God to repel the temptation.

Luke 12:24 - Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap,
Luke 12:27 - Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;
Luke 12:29 - And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink,
Luke 12:32 - Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke 11:13 - how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:2 - And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be thy name

Opportune Time
Luke 4:13 - And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Satan likes to think that he is tough and he likes to intimidate people. Satan has been defeated.
Luke 4:13 states that the devil left Jesus until an opportune time... The devil will come around again when we he thinks we are at our weakest. When we are alone - When we are tired he'll come. He is an opportunist and will come when he thinks he has the advantage.
The devil will flee if we resist by standing firm on what is written in the Word.
Jesus would continue confronting and overcoming the powers of the devil till the temptation at Jerusalem not to go to the Cross.
Luke 18:31 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him." When Jesus set His face to go to Jerusalem, He set His face to die. To be whipped and beaten and spat, mocked and crucifed-that very thought is hard. The thought to put ourselves into His place and feel what He felt. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13.

God planned it all (Jesus' death) out of infinite love to sinners like us at an appointed time. Jesus, the very embodiment of His Father's love for us, saw that the time had come and set His face to fulfill His mission: to die in Jerusalem for our sake. "No one takes my life from me (he said), but I lay it down of my own accord" John 10:18.

Discipleship means following Jesus on the Road to Calvary which leads to suffering and death.

Luke 9:23-24 "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it."

Notice v57-58 "As they were going along the road, a man said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."' It is simple: Jesus expects disciples to be like Him. The Road to Calvary is not the road of material prosperity. Don’t seek comfort and luxury.

To God be all praise and Glory! As guided by the Spirit of God!
And explained by FR. ASHLYN. Also included are notes  – Bible Class.

Thank You, Abba Father.
Thank You, Jesus.

Thank You, Holy Spirit.