Year 2 Day 30
Read - Mark 1:12-13
Message - Alan Burke
We are told here how Jesus was immediately driven out into the wilderness after his baptism to be tempted by Satan with the angels attending him afterwards. What we are not told are the temptations that he faced or if Jesus was victorious, for Mark wants us to understand that Jesus faced temptation not only at the beginning of his public ministry in this ’40 day’ temptation throughout his life as Satan endeavoured to subvert God’s great plan of salvation. While we are not told here the temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness we are told in Matthews gospel account (Matt 4:1-11), as Satan tempts Jesus to turn the stones into bread (Mt 4:3), to throw himself down from the highest point (Mt 4:6) and the top of a mountain offered the kingdoms of the world (Mt 4:8-9). It may not sound like a lot or a big deal but remember Jesus faced starvation that most of us can barely even comprehend. The three temptations he can be summed up in the words ‘pleasure, pride and power’, these are three temptations that we all face and they are the very stuff of our dreams.
Yet in each temptation Jesus chose obedience to the Father. Jesus chose obedience! In a world that says that’s it’s all about our comfort, having our perceived needs met, our well being, our pleasure, Jesus does something that goes totally opposite to our self centred nature and choose obedience. More important than anything he was offered by Satan was obedience to the Father. For us, likewise God’s will and obedience to Him should mean more than what we want, more than our comfort, more than having our perceived need met, more than our well being, more than our pleasure. The example of our saviour is that of obedience.
We can be tempted to sin even in the good things of this life, and for all of us even the very highest and best ends do not justify operating contrary to God's will. That’s so important for all of us to know and that’s what Jesus made clear. Satan though tries to get us to go after good things for the wrong reasons, to tempt us into things that are good but without the cost, I want to leave you with the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34-38 where he says… “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels””. We are called to obedience. The Westminster Shorter Catechism sums up what is required of us, in Question 39 up What is the duty which God requires of man? The duty which God requires of man, is obedience to his revealed will. (Mic. 6:8, 1 Sam. 15:22).
Q42 What is the sum of the ten commandments?
The sum of the ten commandments is, To love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbour as ourselves. (Matt. 22:37–40)