Page 7 - February 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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the wooden structure would be built. The   gaze upwards and then respond with the
        time came when each in turn was tested   holy Scriptures!
        over a span by adding more and more     Although He was tempted in “the
        weights. Some failed early on, with very   middle of nowhere,” it was by no means
        little weight added. In the end, only the
        strongest bridges bore the heaviest load.   in a vacuum or without context. That
        Christ has felt and borne far more weight   is, He wasn’t just resisting temptation
        from temptation than we ever could.   because it was evil; He was resisting
          Satan paid close attention to the Father’s   temptation because He loved something
        commendation at the baptism of Jesus:   (Someone) much more than what was
        “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am   being offered. His love relationship with
        well-pleased.” It is by cunning, intelli-  His Father meant that obedience to Him
        gent design, then, that he begins the final   and fellowship with Him meant always
        showdown of this 40-day episode with   saying no to anything that challenged that
        the taunt, “If you are the Son of God …”
        The temptation was for Him (and is for   relationship. While Matthew gives the
        us) an issue of identity (Are you really   chronological order of the temptations,
        His Son?), of affection (Are you really   Luke gives what we might call the moral
        loved by Him?), and affirmation (Are you   order, corresponding with the progres-
        really pleasing to Him?). He would later   sion of Eve’s temptation and with John’s
        level the same mocking taunt at Calvary,   three-fold description (1Jn 2:16). The devil
        as four different groups of people would   urged the Lord (and urges us) to act, to
        hurl stinging variations of “If you are   have and to be, independently of God’s
        the Son … the King … the Christ … save
        yourself … come down from the cross!”   will and provision. He was tempted as to
        Because his goal is to make us forget what   His appetites, His acquisitions and His
        God has made us, “we must be clear about   aspirations. We should expect the same.
        Satan’s goal in temptation. It’s not merely    “When the devil had finished every
        to get us to do something bad. His goal is   temptation, he left Him until an oppor-
        to turn us away from our true identity as   tune time” (Luk 4:13). Satan held nothing
        God’s people.” 3                      back nor did he give up, but his purposes
          In the Temptation, we note the devil’s   were frustrated, for as the Lord later not-
        constant  attempt  to  direct His gaze
        downwards, each time. Firstly, the urg-  ed, “he has nothing in Me” (Joh 14:30). In
        ing  inference  is  “Look  down,”then,   the desert, the One who would bear away
        “Throw yourself down,” and finally,   the sin of the world has proven Himself
        “Fall  down.”  In  turn,  He  directed  the   “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from
        devil’s attention upwards, to the “Lord   sinners” (Heb 7:26 KJV). “The first Adam
        your  God”  and  to  His  written  Word.   was tested in the God-blessed garden and
        What a different outcome there would   fell. The [last] Adam was tested in the
        be if in the midst of our every tempta-  God-cursed desert, and won.” 4
        tion we remembered to first redirect our

        3  Tim Chaddick, The Truth About Lies (Colorado   4  Russell D. Moore, Tempted and Tried (Crossway,
        Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015), 69.  Wheaton, IL: 2011), 41.

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