Lessons from the temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you were called. With all humility and gentleness, and with patience, support each other in love.” (Ephesians 4: 1 – 2).

When I was meditating on the temptation of Jesus I was praying “My God, I learn that at any circumstance I must keep trust in you and I should not betray you. But I believe there is much more than this learning from this passage. Can you teach me?” I heard in my heart “Read the same once again verse by verse. Keep each verse in your heart and pray for it.”

I started to do the same and found something interesting. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the tempter. Jesus is subjected to triple temptation. The tempter’s three question to Jesus is as below.

1. If you are Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.
2. If you are Son of God, throw yourselves down.
3. I will give you all these, if you fall at my feet and do me homage.

The first temptation was on FOOD, the second was to TEST GOD’s WORD and the third was to BETRAY GOD for WORLDLY RICHES.

On meditating still further there was a question in my heart. “Was this temptation was only to Jesus or who else faced this temptation and what did they do?” Thinking on it still further the temptation on FOOD was from the start. Adam and Eve fell for the temptation on the fruit from the tree of knowledge and they broke God’s word and brought in the ORIGINAL SIN. Cain anger was also related to FOOD. Esau gave away his birthright for a cup of stew. There were many more who fell for this temptation. That made me realize why our Lord preached to fast and pray.

The second temptation made me realize that the tempter also know the WORD of GOD and the tempter knows what we are talking about (i.e. the words from our mouth) and tempt us on the same lines. The control of tongue was highlighted in my heart. This also made me know why Lord talked about saying a “Yes” and “No” in his sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 33 – 37).

“All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the Evil One.”

This will avoid getting into trouble. Also a man becomes unclean of what comes out of his mouth which is from heart and not what goes in  through mouth. Also a wise person’s mouth is at heart, so he thinks before he talks, while a fool speaks even before the thought.

The third temptation is to fall for the WORLDLY RICHES (worldly things) and go away from the Lord with/without our knowledge. On thinking over this all of a sudden there raised a thought on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. From Galatians 5:22 – 23 “On the other hand the fruit of the Spirit is

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness
and self-controlI

clearly understand the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is surely not of human spirit. So it made me to think what are the fruits of the human spirit (fruits of the flesh)? Then I remembered the words of Jesus in Mark 7:21 -22 when he said what makes a man unclean. “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—

sexual immoralitytheftmurderadulterygreedmalicedeceitlewdness, envyslanderarrogance and folly.”

Our Lord also talks about the worldly riches through the parable of the fool, where the rich man who dies on the very night when he thinks of making a bigger storage space by pulling down his barns and build a bigger one. Also through the parable of the sower where how the worldly riches stops the growth of the seed.

Our Lord says “I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:20). When Lord bless anyone with His Spirit the fruits of the Holy Spirit is the one to be born. It is the time when we fall into the temptation we bore a fruit of flesh. This fight continues until we fight hard and do not fall into temptation. The fruits of the Holy spirit help us to over come the temptation of the world. We can learn that the love, joy and peace stays at our heart when our thoughts are self-controlled and it exhibits patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness and gentleness. Let us pray for that the fruits of holy spirit be exhibited in us and we leave all our sinful thoughts and ways.

“And now to him who can make you strong in accordance with the gospel that I preach and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, in accordance with that mystery which for endless ages was kept secret but now (as the prophets wrote) is revealed, as the eternal God commanded, to be made known to all the nations, so that they obey in faith: to him, the only wise God, give glory through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.” (Romans 16: 25 – 27)

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