Monday, March 10, 2014

The Challenges

If you are the Son of God. . .(Matthew 4:3ff)

Twice, Satan challenges Jesus with those words. There is a certain arrogance in the challenge, something that asks, “This isn’t too hard for you, is it Jesus?”

The first challenge has to do with making bread out of rocks. It is said that the rocks in the wilderness of this part of the world are often of the same general shape, size, and color as the round loves used by the Jewish people. In a way, it’s like saying, “Come on, some of the work has already been done for you. It shouldn’t be that hard for a deity!”

Certainly the world of that time could have used more bread. There were many hungry people, and to find this infinite supply of nutrition for starving people everywhere would have been world-changing. But, it isn’t Jesus job to feed the hungry people; it is ours.

The second challenge involved one of authority and affection. “Certainly, you have the authority to command legions of angels, and I am sure some of them would respond to protect you.” Or, “Certainly, every son has a loving father, and your father would not permit you to splatter on the temple pavement.” A leader does not allow himself to be goaded into rash actions, and a son who truly believes in his father’s love does not have to test it in a near suicide attempt.

While the above conversation is interesting, we are reminded of the times we have issued similar challenges. “If you are really God, you will not let my loved one die. . .you will deliver me from this situation. . .you will give me my heart’s desire. . .you will help me kick my bad habits and addictions. . .
An easy life is our first choice, but since few of us have been given that, isn’t it a comfort to know the true Son of God is by our side for every step of our journey.

Pastor Craig