You have an assigned task to perform. Maybe it came from the committee you’re on. Maybe it’s a family task you promised to accomplished. Maybe it’s a self-appointed task you doled out.
You’re thinking, “Why did I ever agree to this? I have a million other things to do. I know I’m the one who should so it, but it’s so hard to stick with it.”
Who knows what Jesus was thinking that day as he walked into the desert. He had been on an elevated plane just yesterday—his baptism and the voice of God assuring him that he was the Son of God. All those years of his mother’s miraculous stories were coming to fruition.
He may have thought, “Why, then, has the Spirit led me into this desert?”
I wonder, what did he do there for forty days and forty nights? Pray, recite Scripture? Meditate, trying to hear a word or a thought from God? Search out places to lay his head at night? Try to find a source of water?
Did God speak to him audibly? Did the Spirit move in his mind and soul to remind him of Godly attitudes? Did he realize this was going to be a fast to prepare him for things that lay ahead?
Was he coming to realize his fulfillment in the Scriptures? Did God gradually prepare him for the cross? Was he sweating because of the desert heat or because of what he saw on the horizon?
Jesus would be physically weak without food by now, his energy level at a low ebb. At just such a time, the tempter came to “interrupt” his time with God.
Scripture says the tempter came to him and said,
“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to be made bread.” Matthew 4:3
Jesus would not dilute this time with God even if his desire for food was at a peak. Just as the Israelites depended on God for the manna, Jesus would depend on God, not on his own supernatural power for his needs. Jesus said,
“It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:2
Then the devil took Jesus to a high point at the Temple with a 100-foot drop. “Jump off,” Satan said and then, he quoted Scripture—
“He will command his angels concerning you and they will lift you up in their hands . . .” Matthew 4:6
A dramatic fall and being caught in mid-air would certainly attract attention with the many gathered around the Temple. But that wasn’t Jesus’ mission.
“It is also written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Matthew 4:7
Satan took Jesus to a high mountain and declared, “All this I will give you if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus had had enough.
“Away from me Satan! For it is written ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” Matthew 4:10
May we remember Jesus’ example when we are tempted to take short cuts.
~ Joyce ~