Sunday, 22 June 2014
Rev Daniel Poon
We all know the story of Jesus being tempted in Matthew 4:1-11, yet have we really consider what do those temptations mean to Jesus and what do they mean to us? In 1 John 2:16, we learnt THREE kinds of temptations from this world, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
Temptation One, Lust of Flesh – Our flesh makes us weak, and when Jesus become human being, He, too, will feel hungry and tired like us, but instead, He overcame it with the Word of God.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”” (Matthew 4:1-4)
Temptation Two, Pride of Life – We often question our identity and want to be someone we are not, we try to gain the world by proving ourselves, yet forgetting who we really are.
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”” (Matthew 4:5-7)
Temptation Three, Lust of the Eyes – There are many things we see good from our eyes, but are they really good for us? Even Adam and Eve were tempted by the beautiful fruit; but Jesus showed us an example by overcoming it.
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:8-11)
When we tried to justify ourselves and use our own ways to defeat the devil, the devil will overcome us. Only the Word of God is powerful and can always help us win the battle. “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17) Rev Daniel showed us 2 simple ways to overcome temptations: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
- Submit yourselves: doing the Will of God, not ours
- Resist the devil : through the Word of God