Journal Matt 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil…the tempter came and said to him “if you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. But (Jesus) answered, “It is written…
Then the devil…said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down (from the pinnacle of the Holy City), for it is written…” Jesus said to (the devil), “Again, it is written…”
…the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed (Jesus) all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And (the devil) said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, “you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” Excerpts from Matt 4:1-10
Observation: Why is this report (not story) important? What application to the Gospel does it have? What is it saying to me?
Analysis: What is the tempter trying to tempt Jesus with?
This story gives me three things I can identify:
- Self-sufficiency. “Jesus, you know you can take care of yourself….”
- Self-protection. “Jesus, you know you can protect yourself…”
- Self-exaltation. “Jesus, just think: You can be BOSS…”
One word is consistent: SELF.
The serpent did the same to Adam and Eve: “Just think, you can be just like God.” (c. Gen 3:5)
Why did the devil do that? I think it stems from way back: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart: I will ascend to heaven (above the stars of God); I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds—I will make myself like the Most High.” (Is 14:12-14)
And since then, this is the rebellion and original sin that Satan is perpetrating in all of creation: fostering rebellion against the Creator of the Universe by thinking either: Man can be like God, or; God isn’t much better than Man. “A loving God wouldn’t make me “serve” Him; he would treat me like an equal…’ or some rot like that.
That is the lie of the devil. That is the evil of the devil. Nothing more, nothing less.
Jesus saw through that.
I am called to see through that.
Every sin that can be identified can be traced back to: “I can make my own decisions; I don’t need You!!” Rank rebellion, traitorous creation.
It is why I have been regenerated, born again, have a rebooted hard drive of heart. I have been set free. I am no longer chained to sin. I have been given the ability to renew my mind…
In order to find my rightful place in creation…as a servant of the Most High God, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father, thank you for answering my question about what sin really is. It makes the Gospel clearer.
Bring revival. AMEN.