Only in the Father’s Will
Do we find our True Life
At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus was tempted to fall three times but withstood. Each temptation began with the devil trying to throw a seed of doubt in his mind as to his true identity. So he says, ‘If you are the Son of God, you would turn stones into bread,’ which means go the route of materialism and work on the assumption that by accumulating more and more of what you want you will find what you need. Jesus responds wisely quoting the scriptural truth that, ‘It is not on bread alone that we can truly live. Until this crisis stopped us dead in our tracks many had everything the world could offer and yet were running on empty and devoid of inner peace.
Then he tempts him with power, and the glory that will be his if he goes down that particular route. All he has to do is put himself first and leave God out of his life. Again Jesus sees through the temptation and answers with: ‘You must worship the Lord Your God and serve him alone’. He knows that to be dependent on others approval in order to feel good about oneself is itself a form of slavery. In the light of Divine approval we already have the ultimate approval.
Next the devil took him up to the high point of the temple and invited him to take the risk of putting on a spectacular show. This would mean putting God to the test, that if he jumped then God would surely have to look after his own and send his angels to keep him from falling. Here the temptation is to step out of alignment with the divine will for his life. Later God would ask him to walk on water, and it would happen, but just now he was not being asked to put on a show. Hence Jesus replies, much to Satan’s disgust, that ‘You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’
All the temptations of Christ are ours as well. They come down to giving God first place in our lives, and living life His way, or our way.