04.4 BSF Matthew Week 4, Day 4

Today’ Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Satan has no new tricks.  There is no new temptation, just the same old same old that mankind has faced forever.

The first temptation Satan attempts with Jesus is for a prophet.  We often think about the “turn these rocks to bread” as a temptation of hunger, but it is deeper.  It is a temptation of self reliance, to take matters into your own hands.  This was the temptation that snared Moses.  Number 20:8-12 tells the tale of the prophet and his yielding to temptation to put reliance on the staff in his hand instead of solely on the glory of God.

The second temptation Satan attempts is one for a king.  This is the temptation that snared David.  David knew he was chosen by God.  He knew he lived in His favor and that he could trust perfectly in God’s love and strength and backing.  And, as a result, he ventured into sin.  From his high place in the palace he looked down and saw the wife of Uriah.  He didn’t deny God or hide from God, he took God for granted.

The third temptation Satan attempts is one for spiritual being, for an angel.  This is the temptation that snared Lucifer himself and, to a certain degree, Adam and Eve.  This is the temptation to be “like God.”  To be the object of worship.  In Satan’s case his fall came when he worshiped himself above God.  He couldn’t challenge Jesus to worship Himself above God, since Jesus was God, so Satan suggested Jesus worship him.

The beauty of Jesus’ response to each of these temptations is not just that he replied solely with scripture, although that is critically important.  He looked past the challenge and looked at what the outcome of the challenge would yield – something we often forget.  For example, if Jesus had yielded to the first temptation, when all would be said and done, he would have had a loaf of bread.  We forget this.  We get so wrapped up in the challenge, the temptation itself, that we fail to look past it to the actual outcome.  Jesus did not.

The potential of the first temptation was a loaf of bread.   The potential of the second was to return to exactly where He already was at the highest point of the temple.  The potential of the third was ridiculous, to sacrifice kingship over all creation for rule over earthly kingdoms (something He already had anyway).

If we had the same eyes in our view of temptations – to look past them – what simple strength we will have to stand up under them through the Word of God.

My Answers:

6.
a.
1. Tell these stones to become bread 2. throw yourself down for scripture says angels will lift you up and not strike your foot  3. Offered all the kingdoms of the world if he would bow down and worship Satan.  Deut 8:3, Psalm 91:11-12, Deut 6:16, 13

b.
Jesus is not Moses, tempted to take matters into his own hand.  Jesus is not David in mortal battle against man and pestilence.  He did not come to earth to rule over mortal nations but to save them and in such to be their immortal king

c.
We are self reliant.  We trust in ourselves more than God.  We are in fear and call on God for protection even while we put ourselves in harms way not for His glory but for ours.  We seek power and to rule

d.
The temptations I face are nothing but garden variety temptations, faced by men over and over throughout time.  Nothing new, nothing that can’t be handled through the strength of the word.

7.
a.
The angels came and attended to him

b.
He sends someone with a kind word of encouragement that tells me it was noticed.

04.3 BSF Matthew Week 4, Day 3

Today’ Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

What is temptation?  What is the difference between temptation and testing?  Is temptation a sin? Could Jesus have yielded to temptation?  Could Jesus have sinned?

Jesus was fully man.  God gave man free will, the ability to make choices.  Jesus had this choice as does any other man.  There is no way He had less freedom than you or I.  But His choice was different.  His choice as a man reflected His strength as God.  Temptation itself is not sin.  Yielding to temptation is sin.

In examining this, it is interesting to look at how Satan tempted Jesus.  He didn’t do it with a question, as he did with Eve.  He did it with a challenge, an accusation.  Basically, he said – “prove it.”  “If you are the Son of God…”  Every proof (geometry or any other mathematics, logic, science) always starts with a postulate or axiom.  An axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.  These are the givens.  They are the things by which every other question is answered or proven.  Prima facie.  God is truth.  God is the creator of everything.  God is the axiom.  God is the only plumb and square by which anything else can be measured.  He is the postulate and He said, “This is My son.”

But Satan requests proof.  To attempt to prove an axiom, by definition, means you remove it from being a cornerstone.  Using any other measure to determine if an axiom is true means putting faith in that measure over the axiom.

And this is the heart of temptation and sin.  Sin is simply the act of putting something else above God.  Trusting something else as being more reliable than the Word of God.  Adam and Eve did this – Eve trusted her eyes over the word of God (when she saw it was good for food and pleasing to the eye, Gen 3:6).  You and I do this when we worry, doubt, rely on self, fail to confess, accept despair or simply drift away.

But Jesus did not yield to temptation.  You don’t prove an axiom, it just is. And Jesus just is the I Am.

Please feel free to comment.

My Answers:

5.
a.
If you are the Son of God.  v3, 6

b.
Jesus was the son of God.  God Himself in voice from heaven had proclaimed it at his baptism.  The father of lies sought to have him prove it.  You don’t prove a postulate/axiom – it is self-evident.

c.
Matt:Don’t worry about clothing or food, God provides
Acts:Salvation is found in no one else but Jesus
Rom:The Spirit testifies we are God’s children – share in suffering
2 Cor:Hard pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair
1 John:If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive and purify us
Heb:Pay the most careful attention to what we have heard so not drift away