The Intensity of Jesus’ Temptations

July 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Theology | Leave a comment

          Luke 3:1-13.  I believe we don’t fully comprehend the extent of Jesus’ temptations.  Yet they were real and they were intense — more intense than anyting we may face.  First: Jesus hadn’t eaten for 40 days.  He was taken to the breaking point as far as physical urges are concerned.  Most of us have never gone even 40 hours without food, yet alone 40 days.  Only once have I gone more than about 30 hours without, so I have no concept of what he was facing, but he was at the end of his physiological rope.  Though I face temptations of the flesh, I have never experienced the depth of temptation that Jesus faced here.  It may be gluttony, drunkenness, sexual drives and addictions, drug addictions, or laziness.  These are all fleshly temptations we face, but none is as demanding as this one Jesus faced.  Second: He was taken to a high place and offered all the kingdoms of the world.  When we are tempted with the lust of the eyes, we see things that fall way short of this opportunity.  It may be money or material goods, even billions of dollars worth in some cases, but it is not everything in the world.  Even the wealthiest people, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, don’t have it all and haven’t been tempted by everything.  Third:  He was taken to the highest point on the temple and given a great opportunity to prove who he was.  This was a place with a lot of people, and all those people were looking for God’s Messiah to reveal himself.  There could have been no better opportunity anywhere in the world to prove who he was.  Not only that, but he knew that the cross lay before him, and this was an opportunity to shortcut the cross, to make himself known as the Messiah without the sacrifice.  When we face pride of life temptations, they are nothing like this – not even close.  When Hebrews says Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, that is somewhat of an understatement.  He was tempted in all ways we are, but to a far greater degree than we are.

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