God’s ways are not our ways.  Isaiah 55:89

…afterward He was hungry.  Now when the tempter came to Him he said: “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” But He answered ” It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds for the mouth of God”  Matthew 4:3-4

God tempted; really?  The story of Jesus temptations has always been a mystery for me.  For one, when Jesus was tempted, no other disciple was with Him.  So for us to know of the story, Jesus must have told it to his disciples.  Jesus was not one to tell stories about himself just to bring glory to himself.  In fact when the rich young man called Jesus as a man “good”, Jesus rebuked him and said “Why call me good, none are good but God alone?”  So why tell the story of his temptations?  It seems to me (and I am by no means a scholar) that these stories are the foundation of Jesus Christ’s mission and ministry.

For is it not our excuse (I know it often is mine), when coming to God, our Heavenly Father in Prayer, confessing some sin, or questioning some directive we believe has come from Him that we are having trouble with, that we say God you don’t understand, I’m only human.  But God does understand.  He understands in the guise of Jesus Christ who became fully human and thence could actually experience our feelings, fears and pains.  Of course He felt them but as God on earth he did not submit to their temptations and sin.

And this first temptation, the need for bread seems so much at the heart of when we (or at least I) fall.  The fear that God will not provide.  That He is not listening or caring.  That He is somehow distant and we are left to our abilities to get our bread.  Jesus Christ had the ability to turn the stones into bread and He was very hungry.  So what would have been the problem with using that power after all wasn’t it God given?  It seems to me the problem was priorities and the place of God in the progression of our lives.   God has promised His love for us and His ability to sustain us.  Jesus did not have the power to change rocks to food, just to fill His hungry stomach.  Jesus knew and knows God’s word and knows that God is sufficient to provide all things.  So it is not about bread (or in today’s world, our food, our clothing, our homes, cars, our possessions or our safety).  It is about knowing with unquestioning certainty that Our Heavenly Father will supply all and more, if we start with following God’s word.

Our Heavenly Father also knows that we will fail at this.  He knows that failure would keep us ever apart from Him unless He did something to atone for that failure.  So He sent Jesus, to experience our trials and tribulations, but to not fail and as such be our Hope and our Savior that we can come before Our Heavenly Father.   Because Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of our Heavenly Father, testifies for us, that He knows what we are going through and has washed our failures clean with His blood.

It sure isn’t the way I’d have planned it.  Thank God He did.  Amen

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