Tuesday, April 04, 2006

30 Days of Quiet Time - April 4, 2006

Matthew 4:1-17 and Luke 4:14-44

I actually read the Luke passage from verse 1 instead of 14 as I wanted to read another telling of the temptation of Jesus. One thing I noticed was that it tells us Jesus was tempted for 40 days. We have the three questions that Satan tempts Jesus with recorded in the gospels, but if He was tempted for 40 days there must have been more than that. I wonder if there were more temptations or if he just repeated the same ones over and over using different language, trying to wear down His resistance? I think about that because I know Satan uses the same few things over and over to tempt me and the reason he often succeeds is that he couches them in different phrases and promptings - but underneath they really are the same thing.

I like that the passages tell us that Jesus felt hungry. In fact, both of them say that "after forty days" he felt hungry. My first response was, "you think?". It is nice to be reminded that Jesus really did experience the normal annoyances of life while He was on this earth.

Another thing that I hear a great deal when people preach about this passage is the idea that Jesus used Scripture to defeat Satan. I mentioned in the Quiet Time class on Saturday the importance of memorizing Scripture and this passage really backs that up. Using the Words of God to resist Satan is effective and powerful.

One last thing I think is really important in the later verses of the Luke passage is the idea of developing credibility. That is one that I have always felt is so important in leading people. Jesus was an amazing leader and this is one of the reasons. His constant silencing of the evil spirits at the beginning of Him ministry show someone who understands the importance of developing credibility before people will believe you. You see, He knows human nature. And while His way of thinking is very foreign to us, our way of thinking is clearly understood by Him. He knows that people won't follow someone who hasn't proved themselves. So the evil spirits confessing that He is the son of God at the beginning of His ministry need to be silenced until He begins to show it by action and built up His reputation.

We see that reputation beginning in the Luke passage, but it is only the start. I think this ties into Jesus' sadness when those closest to Him don't understand His purpose as He reaches the end of His life. He had established who He was by then, but they still didn't see it.

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