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Jesus And The Temptations

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

Luke recorded that after the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus like a dove, He was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 3:22). The incarnated Christ had relinquished His own divine power and totally depended on the Holy Spirit. As the Man of the Spirit, He was guided and directed by the Holy Spirit throughout His earthly mission. As the Second Person of the Holy Godhead, Jesus practiced submission to God the Father and now to God the Holy Spirit. The Man of the Spirit was to become an example for all His disciples as to how by being obedient to the Holy Spirit, become the Church of the Spirit.

The first undertaking that the Holy Spirit involved Jesus was not ministry but trial. In fulfillment with the prophetic words first uttered against the serpent in Genesis 3:15, the Holy Spirit led Jesus to confront the devil. Apart from the fact that Jesus was to be tested in the wilderness for forty days by the devil, He was also serving notice to the devil that the old serpent's time was up. (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4). It was a shot across the bow of the devil. The Son of God had arrived on earth as a baby, grown to adulthood, and now He was of age and was ready to redeem fallen mankind. He meant business!

Firstly, this trial was to be a moment of reckoning for mankind. The first Adam failed his test and brought mankind down the precipice of shame and sins. Would the second or last Adam commit the same error?

The second aspect of the trial in the desert serves as a reminiscent of the journey of the Children of Israel in the desert. The Son of Man was to go through what these people of God failed 1,400 years before.

The third aspect of this trial declares that Jesus was categorically the prophesized Messiah of the Old Testament. He had come to save the lost.

The devil was not intimidated because he was unable to comprehend spiritual truths. He did not realize who he was dealing with. Just as in the past, he was foolish enough to challenge the authority of God in heaven, now he had no qualm to challenge a 'powerless' version of God on earth. To the devil, it was a moment of great opportunity, more than ever before, he might be able to overwhelm the incarnated Son of God... and so he thought.

In his conniving way, he waited until Jesus had fasted for the forty days. It was a strategy of wearing down the victim and then waited for the extreme fast to work hunger, weariness and weakness into Jesus. The devil had been quite successful in exploiting the weaknesses of mere mortals, especially when they were worn out, weary and hungry. This time, with three tried and tested temptations in his bag, Satan may just be able to destroy God once and for all. What he did not realize was that fasting may weaken the physical body but it definitely strengthens the spiritual man.

The devil's first temptation was clothed with false sympathy. He pretended to be concerned about the hunger pang that Jesus was feeling. He coaxed the Son of Man to satisfy His hunger by using His Messianic power to turn stones into breads. He provided Jesus with a justification that it was the prerogative of the Messiah to turn stones into breads. A justifiable excuse - Jesus was hungry and it would seem permissible to use His miracle power to satisfy His hunger.

This was the lust of the flesh. This temptation device is often used against servants of God. If we are not careful, in order to satisfy our personal physical needs, we may succumb to this temptation easily.

Then the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. This was to tempt our Lord through the eye gates - the lust of the eyes. He was to look at the kingdoms and nations that God had appointed Him to save. What easier way then to give a moment of superficial submission to the devil and then be able to achieve His mission - without having to go through the suffering of the cross. Once again, it became a justifiable cause - a brief moment as compared to a lengthy duration of torture and pain.

The temptation has to do with the pride of life. Jerusalem was packed with pilgrims at the time of annual sacrifice. To be seen standing on the pinnacle of the Temple would be quite a sight for thousands who came from all over Israel and beyond. The devil was stirring the carnal pride of mortals within Jesus. Would the Son of Man be just like the first son, Adam? Would he really jump and allow the angels to catch Him? It was a justifiable act and so the devil said. Even the scripture recommended it. The trap was set and all Jesus needed to do was jump and Satan would have gotten the upper hand.

John the Beloved was to identify these three aspects of temptation clearly in his epistle - For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:16).

Many servants of God, especially those who are in the healing ministry, face these three temptations more regularly than others. Therefore, it is most appropriate to take note of how Jesus resisted and overcame such temptations.

Throughout the ordeal, in spite of His hunger, weariness and weakness, there was one thing very clear in Jesus' heart - His allegiance to God and His mission to save mankind was unshakeable. That is the type of resolve and model that we, His disciples, have to have and follow.

Reverend Albert Kang received his Master of Divinity in 1985 from Far East Advanced School of Theology (now known as Asia Pacific Theological Seminary), a Bible Seminary belonging to the Assemblies of God. God has used him to initiate 16 churches and 3 orphanages in Asia and USA. His first church in Singapore grew from 23 people to 1,700 within six years. For 7 years, he ministered in Cambodia where he planted a Cambodian church and 3 orphanages. He then co-founded a new church in Pittsburgh, PA before returning to Singapore in 2001.Today, his ministry is based in Malaysia and affiliated with High Praise Church in Subang Jaya. He serves as the Pastoral Advisor to various churches in Malaysia. He is also the Coordinator of Elijah Challenge Asia and Church Growth Consultant, conducting Church Growth Seminars and Leadership Training. His ordination is from Victory New Testament International, which is based in Texas, USA. Reverend Albert Kang is married to Grace Ong who is a Nutritionist and Editor of a health magazine. They worship at High Praise Church in Subang and live with their three lovely dogs, (Goodness, Mercy and Danny), and three cats (Jellicle, Tabby Boy and Alaska) at Bukit Rahman Putra, Selangor, Malaysia

Source: EzineArticles
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Holy Spirit


Temptations Of Jesus


Lust Of The Eyes


Lust Of The Flesh


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