#851. Jesus is tempted to test God (7/7/23)
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is and this week we are considering Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.
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‘The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘ “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered, ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ (Luke 4:9-12)
Main idea: We must resist the temptation to test God - to base our worship and trust on how well God is meeting our expectations.
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Jesus was tempted to test God. By test, we mean being tempted to only believe God and His word if He will do something for us to prove it. Satan is tempting Jesus to test the Father by forcing Him to prove His love through a miracle. In essence, we could say that Satan is seeking to tempt Jesus to sin by doubting God.
Satan does the same to us. We might, if we’re tired of waiting and discouraged say something like, “If you love me do …”. Or, “prove that you are real and are with me by doing…” All such behaviour, whilst forgivable and understandable, reveals the sin of unbelief.
If we love the Bible, Satan will do all He can to make us misuse its promises. For example, This promise of Psalm 91:11-12 does not teach us to live like we are in some sort of Mission Impossible film and become reckless or prayer-less because, “the angels will lift me…!” Rather, it teaches us to trust His protection and care as we seek to serve God in our lives.
Jesus refutes Satan’s suggestion by quoting from Deuteronomy 6:16 which warns against following the example of Israel at Massah in the wilderness where they complained about the lack of water. We read:
‘But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, ‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?’ (Exodus 17:3)
Unlike Israel, Jesus will not fall by testing and doubting God’s love in his moment of trial.
We must resist the temptation to test God - to base our worship and trust on how well God is meeting our expectations.
Satan wants us to doubt God, and base our love and worship upon what He does for us. He tempts us to make our worship contingent upon whether God heals, provides, saves, opens a door, gives a relationship, takes away a problem… Satan tries to get us to throw God’s promises at Him like stones of accusation. Like Christ, let’s refuse to test God’s love. God in His holiness is beyond testing but we are to test our worship and ensure that it is given to God freely and not as something for which we expect Him to repay us!