segunda-feira, 14 de novembro de 2016
Reflections on the Three Temptations of Jesus in the Desert
Base Text: Mt 4: 1-11
I want to expound in a succinct way what the Holy Spirit has shed light on my understanding in this biblical passage known to Christians - which concerns the temptations suffered by Jesus in the wilderness by Satan.
The first point I would like to emphasize is that none of us are exempt from the temptations of satan, after all he is the temptation itself and this was made clear in the text under analysis since he invested with his devices against the very Son of God, Jesus Christ , The Incarnate Word. However, although we are subject to temptations, we have resources given by God to successfully resist it - the Word of God. Jesus gave us a great proof of this, for all his answers are based on the Word of God.
We talk initially about the tempter, now let's talk about how it attacks. We identified in the text that Jesus was fasting and praying for 40 days until he was hungry - here is an important tip - hunger was the point of contact for Satan to come up with his suggestions. Now, this brings light into our heart, so hunger was the great need of Jesus at that moment, so Satan will always try us in some area of our life, where some lack is detected, for example, if someone does not go Well in his financial life, he will present suggestions in this area to "solve" the problem, if in sentimental life in the same way, etc. Highlighting Satan is always prowling around trying to discover our vulnerabilities, our needs and our needs.
Normally when we refer to this happening we usually say the temptation of Jesus, but if we delve deeper into the text, we will see that temptation actually unfolds in three temptations. The first of these is related to hunger, when satan says:
"If you are the son of God, command that these stones become bread." Jesus answered: It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'
The enemy presents his cunning in the sense of inducing Jesus to error, taking advantage of his vulnerability, his hunger, or if Jesus was hungry it was simple he could turn stones into bread and satiate his need, after all he was hungry.
How often does the enemy seek to potentialize our problems in such a way as to induce us to break the principles established by God in his word. Jesus gives us a great example, we can not place our needs above the word of God. We can not break principles - turning stone into bread is a breaking of principle, after all stone is stone and bread is bread, are totally distinct things in nature. It is precisely this that Satan wants to suggest to us, if you are going through necessity, you can do anything, after all you need it, no problem, God will understand, etc. Most people who commit some moral flaw when confronted often say "ah but I was passing needs, my family needs to eat, my marriage was not going well, everyone does it etc."
The great lesson we can draw from this first temptation is that we should trust God in times of material difficulty, knowing that at the right time He will supply our needs as Jesus did, for in verse 11 of the same chapter it says that the angels themselves From heaven they came and served Jesus, hallelujah. We can never want to negotiate with God, disobeying his principles set forth in his own word. We can never mix things up, the mix is not from God. Let's keep differentiating things: Holy or profane, honest or dishonest, right or wrong! There is no middle ground with regard to spiritual principles established by God himself. If we break it we will surely pay the price and God will not honor us.
Let's reflect on the second temptation.
And he said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down hence; For it is written, That he shall give his angels charge over thee, and shall take thee into their hands, lest thou dash upon a stone. Jesus saith unto him, It is written also, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4: 6-7
The second temptation is no less gloomy, I say it is even more hellish, because the first temptation was related to breaking principles and moral fall, however, the second is related to life itself, what subtly Satan suggests here is nothing less than Jesus Against his own life, that is to say, suicide! Mercy!
Now, the great balcony of satan was to make Jesus watch his own life, for one who plays himself from the top of a tower obviously can only die. God the Father would have no commitment to save Jesus in that situation, for He would in theory have given cause to the event.
When we voluntarily expose ourselves to a risky situation God has no commitment to honor us, for example if I have to go through a desert and dangerous road because I have no other choice, God will honor me, but if I pass this road knowing his danger And yet I put myself at risk, for no reason, simply trusting in divine protection, God in this case will have no commitment to grant of his deliverance. Whoever does this is tempting the Lord, as wisely answered by Jesus Christ, hallelujah!
Sadly, this temptation continues to be exploited by satan today with a lot of success, after all, not only are people who in extreme moments and despair end up listening to the adversary's suggestions and end their own lives. Unfortunately, suicide remains a commonplace fact in our daily lives. People are induced to the same in the false hope that they will have relief from their pains, their problems, all this suggestion of the adversary. Whoever attacks his life according to the word risks losing eternal salvation, for it is written that the Lord will destroy the one who destroys the temple of the Holy Spirit, so when a person commits suicide he is attacking the temple of the Spirit Holy is your body.
Reflecting on the third and final temptation.
"Again the devil carried him to a very high mountain; And shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt worship me. Then Jesus said unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. "Matthew 4: 8-10
This text may be the subtlest of temptations. After all, who does not want to be successful in life, honored and recognized. And the word makes it clear that satan also has his glory, we saw how many things he promised to Jesus in exchange for worship, mercy!
Unfortunately, many people have fallen into this third temptation, today we live a very great call for personal achievement, professional success, prosperity etc so that this even becomes the main message of many religious denominations - success and financial achievement!
However, we can not allow ourselves to be carried away by the worldly and satanic appeals of recognition and success above all and at any price. No, God is the only one worthy of worship nothing and no one can take his place.
We should keep in mind that when it comes to worshiping satan the first idea that comes to our understanding are those who make covenants with the evil one in exchange for fame, riches, etc., although this is real, for there are in the world today some Worship and worship openly satan, known as Satanist churches, even with branches in Brazil, mercy!
But worship can take place in a subtle and veiled way, for example, we worship everything that passes having absolute value in our lives, so if money becomes an absolute value, then it also becomes worshiped, if success Becomes a compulsion in the personal life, this happens to be an absolute value and also a target of adoration. Therefore, let us be careful that nothing comes to occupy the place of the Lord in our hearts, after all alone he is worthy to be worshiped, hallelujah!
Finally, extract what is useful for your life in this simple article, remembering that the most effective weapon we have against satan and his temptations is still the Word of God, nothing replaces the Word, however, not a shallow knowledge of the Word , We should study it habitually and with intensity, for satan also knows superficially the word, so much so that he quoted it for Jesus in this episode!