Flee Temptation, Part 2

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Jesus didn't crack under the pressure of temptation. Why? Because Jesus had a deeper purpose than following to the temptation of the flesh.

The devil said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.' " Luke 4:3-4 NIV

Jesus was hungry. He was human, and was going without food so that, I believe, He could sincerely seek His Father. We know His earthly ministry was very short and intense, and He said He did only what the Father told Him, so He must have spent countless time alone seeking God. Regardless, we know He must have gotten hungry. The devil tried to take advantage of this fact.

I like to cook. Two of my family’s favorites for me to fix are fried chicken and chili. Both take considerable amount of time to prepare if they are done right. My boys, and sometimes my wife, get impatient often and want me to hurry along the process. The pressure really mounts when it gets to cooking well and the aroma starts to fill the house. If they are slightly hungry, the smell will prompt them to become overly anxious.

I suspect, since Jesus was human like me, that the thought of the bread, when He was already hungry, was a greater temptation. Would Jesus have sinned by turning stone into bread? Probably not. Would He have sinned by eating? Possibly. See, if Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into the desert to fast and pray, then that was God’s will for His life at that time. Anything He did contrary to that purpose would have been sin.

Still, Jesus had the power to turn bread into stone. I imagine the devil knew, maybe even heard, Jesus’ stomach growling. Perhaps he even gave Jesus some visual images of bread (I think he has that kind of limited power). Maybe the devil even conjured up the smell of freshly baked bread.

Did Jesus crack under the pressure? Absolutely not! Why? Because Jesus had a deeper purpose than following to the temptation of the flesh. Jesus had the responsibility and the desire to follow the Father’s will for His life. If you and I want to fight temptation in our lives, we will come to the same resolve!

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