The ‘If’ of Temptation

The devil said to him, ‘If . . .’ (Luke 4:3)

The serpent said to the woman, ‘Did God really say?’ (Genesis 3:1)

The accuser brings questions of truth. In the time of temptation, the beginning point is a questioning of what we would otherwise know to be true:

  • Is it really that big of a deal if I have sex with my boyfriend?
  • No one will really know if I take a little extra cash for myself
  • How do I know that Jesus really existed at all?

The question of truth is inevitably a question of God. For Eve in the garden it was a question of what God had spoken regarding boundaries in Eden. For Jesus in the wilderness, it was a question of his identity as the Son of God and the humble way He would take.

Where is the accuser bringing truth into question in his temptation of us today?

2 thoughts on “The ‘If’ of Temptation

  1. My house group was discussing the temptation of Jesus just this week!

    In particular, we spent time discussing the third – aspects of life where we may be tempted to reach the goal without investing sacrifice along to way.

    • That’s great, Brian. I think the human tendency is to avoid the sacrifice that comes with reaching a goal. We all would like to run a marathon without putting in the time and effort to train and prepare.

      When it comes down to it, we tend toward self-protection. In itself, protecting ourselves is a good thing. However, God calls us beyond that to lay down our lives, including the call to deny ourselves and our natural desires in the face of temptation.

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