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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Learning to Fight

Well, we heard rumors of snow all day yesterday, but not a single flake has fallen here in MN. Meanwhile, parts of Iowa and Illinios have had to shut down with over 12 inches on the ground. I guess we got lucky!

Today's discussion in the gospel's centered on the temptation of Jesus. This is a familiar passage for many, and yet today I was encouraged to see something for the first time. Our professor, who gets really amped about all these topics and starts to talk faster and faster, pointed out a startling fact about how Jesus responded to the temptations. As the devil himself comes to Jesus, a very rare personal appearance, he tempts him to turn stones to bread, throw himself from the temple, and bow before him. In each case Jesus is able to say a resounding NO.

What is shocking about this interaction, when you step back and think about it, is that Jesus never once pulls out his trump card. At no time during the entire interaction does he lay down the "I'm Jesus, the Son of God" card. He doesn't take the obvious way out and act superior to all the temptations. Instead, he resists quite simply by quoting Scripture.

This is encouraging stuff. Because, quite frankly, I don't have a trump card to play. I can't just walk away from something alluring by saying, "well, I'm divine, so see you later." Had Jesus done that, it would have been difficult to find much strength from this passage. But Jesus, in His humanity and in His humility, chose to rely on the Father and on His word.

You know what? I can do that. I can remember a few good Scripture verses and say them when I feel weak. I can pray to the Father and say, "Lord, help me." And I can stand with Jesus against the lure of the enemy.

And do you know what happened after Jesus said no the easy plans of Satan? He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. With purity comes power.

Walk in the Father's strength on your journey today,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's interesting...I'd never thought of it that way. I've often wondered how much power the dual nature (God and man) had over his life. Were they equally powerful? It seems that if he is God, then temptation shouldn't be there at all for him because of his holiness, etc. But it is nice to see him lead by example for us -- to use scripture as a weapon against the enemy, rather than his innate perfection. I think we'd have a hard time relating to Jesus' struggle with temptation if he just held up his hand and said, "I'm God, so there!"