January 2, 2013

Think Like Jesus 2013
Chapter 1

The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries (TFFCM) want to help Christians prepare to live a life that is pleasing to God through our series Think Like Jesus 2013. Our series, Think Like Jesus 2013, will take us through the Word while examining how Jesus applied the Word to situations He shared with us in the Bible. The objective of our series, Think Like Jesus 2013, is to help us learn and apply the scripture to our daily lives.

Jesus Tempted by Satan

(Blue parentheses is commentary) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He (Jesus) answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. ’   (Jesus’ response is from Deuteronomy 8:3) Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, “ If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’   Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.‘” (Jesus’ response is from Deuteronomy 6:16 and Isaiah 7:12) Again the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ’You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”   (Jesus’ response is from Deuteronomy 6:13)  Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.  (Matthew 4:1-11, ESV)

The temptation of Jesus begins with Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where, for forty days and forty nights, Jesus fasts. The Bible does not make it clear what Jesus did to prepare for the temptations of Satan during the forty days and nights of fasting. It is clear that Jesus knew what was coming and that He was prepared with knowledge of the Word (Temple training as a youth) to fend off Satan. The scripture is replete with scenes of Jesus going off, often alone, and often early in the morning to pray. It is likely Jesus prayed during this period of fasting. Keep in mind that the Jesus, who confronted the temptations of Satan, was incarnate man. He was also prepared.

Satan, Lucifer, the devil, or the tempter, is a robber. He comes to steal your relationship with God, to separate us from God by tempting us, just as he tempted Jesus to sin. Satan’s first two temptations of Jesus began by taunting Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread,” and “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus was not fazed by Satan’s taunts. He stood on the Word.

Jesus was hungry and wanted to eat. Jesus also respected the will of the Father. Jesus did not come to earth as man to join a traveling sideshow to trade miracles for sideshow magic. Unfortunately, if improperly taught, the Word of God leaves the impression that the Gospels are a magic show that provides for all our material wants, not our needs, with the proper gift or correct words spoken. Jesus could have turned the stones into food. He could have quenched his hunger without a visible sign to others. Instead, Jesus chose to stay in the will of the Father, knowing that the redemption of mankind from sin depended on Him honoring the will of the Father. Jesus knew that eternal life depended on the Word of God being shared with all mankind – something that may not have happened if Jesus chose to trade God’s Will for a few loaves of bread.

Satan’s second temptation, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ’He will command His angels concerning you and on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus was not fazed by Satan’s taunts. Jesus’ reply was simply that we are not to test God.

What was Satan trying to prove with the first two temptations? Satan said, “If you are the Son of God,”  turn these stones into loaves of bread and jump off this mountain and let God send His angels to save you. Satan knew that Jesus is the Son of God. “If you are the Son of God,”  was not a question – it was a taunt. If Jesus had been bullied by Satan into proving whom He is, then God’s plan of salvation through faith would have been challenged and Jesus would have had to prove himself to everyone. It was a plan changer. Praise the Lord! Incarnate Jesus would not be tempted or challenged into proving whom He is!

Satan’s third temptation was offering the world to Jesus, if Jesus would bow down and worship him. Once again, Jesus, loyal to God the Father, responds to Satan’s challenge by quoting scripture, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”  (Matthew 4: 10b, ESV, quoting Deuteronomy 6:13, ESV) This is an interesting temptation because incarnate Jesus was being offered the world, something Satan did not own, while in the state of incarnate manhood. This paints a clear picture of mankind. Eternity is hard for the mere human mind to grasp. Being free from the troubles of this earth is hard for a mere human mind to understand. It is so hard to understand that many are willing to trade eternity in paradise for eternity in hell for a few moments of pleasure derived from a lifestyle grounded in sin. God does not ask us to understand. He asks us to trust in Him through the grace and salvation provided through His Son, Jesus Christ, at Calvary.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, becauseI seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me.”  (John 5:30, ESV) Jesus’ mission as incarnate man was to do the will of the Father. Jesus’ will to serve the Father was never broken. Jesus never broke the will of the Father. Jesus knew the will of the Father because Jesus knew the Father. Jesus came to the battle with Satan prepared. He came armed with the Word of God.

Do you want to Think Like Jesus? In order to think like Jesus, you need to know Jesus. The really neat thing about Jesus is that He is not hiding. All you need to do is open your Bible and study His Word. The Bible teaches, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV) The part of this verse about not being conformed to the world is one way of telling us to start seeing things the way Jesus sees them. It is important to study the scriptures for yourself to make certain that the church you attend is teaching what the scripture teaches. Unfortunately, there will always be someone out there who, just like Satan’s attempts to deceive Jesus, try to twist the scripture to serve their purpose. Paul writing to Timothy warns, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV)

If you want to Think Like Jesus and don’t know where to start, TFFCM would like to help you get started. Have you read the entire Bible? Have you studied the Bible? Are you asking yourself, does it really matter? The answer to that question carries eternal consequences. TFFCM invites you to join us in studying God’s word throughout 2013. Join us in reading the Bible daily. In the course of 52 weeks, you will have read the entire Bible. TFF’s 52 Week Bible Reading Plan (The Plan) will take you through the entire Bible in just 52 weeks – one year. You may download a copy of The Plan at our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org. If you prefer you may visit TFFCM at our website, Twitter, or Facebook each day for the verse for that day.


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