Sunday, 12 August 2018
Temptations and listening
Question of the day: What is the significance of Yeshua overcoming the 3 temptations of Satan in Matthew chapter 4?
Answer: For a moment, let's set aside the obvious answer, that if Yeshua committed any sin at all, He could not be the perfect sacrifice for sin. You can't fix sin withsin.
David Stern has written a note in The Complete Jewish Study Bible that these 3 temptations mirror the temptations offered to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The first temptation for Yeshua is for bread which mirrors the temptation for Eve that the fruit would be "good for food". This is about being gratified physically. Youcan imagine Yeshua's temptation for bread after he had been fasting for 40 days. Only after these temptations does the Bible indicate He ate again.
The second temptation for Yeshua is for Yeshua to throw Himself down so the angels will catch Him and make Him look good. Eve saw and her eyes were tempted. She saw herself "stylin'" taking a bite from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is the temptation of self-image.
The third temptation is for Yeshua to become wealthy and famous by worshipping Satan. Such was Eve's temptation. She was offered to become "like God" if she would only at of the forbidden tree. This is more than just looking good, it is a desire to be powerful (master of the world).
Again, as with each temptation, Yeshua got it right, correcting Satan’s abuse of Scripture with a correct and righteous use of Scripture. These 3 temptations are mentioned in verse 16 of 1 John 2. I’ve numbered them for you. Verses 15 and 17 are provided for context.
1 John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - (1) the desire of the flesh, (2) the desire of the eyes, and (3) the boasting of life - is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desire, but the one who does the will of God abides forever."
Satan is a liar.
John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies he is just being himself - for he is a liar and the father of lies."
I hate it when God's people sucker for Satan's lies.
Is there a theme in the Bible spoken more often and with greater emphasis than listening to God? 2Shema Yisrael..." is called the greatest commandment by Yeshua (Mark 12:28). Psalm 95 implores us to listen to God.
Psalm 95:7b "Today, if you hear His voice."
King David says hearing God is what separates him from all the heathens.
Psalm 28:1b "If You (God) were silent to me (David), I would become like those going down to the Pit."
Our aptitude to hear God speaking is a theme that is sure to come up again soon.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,