Tempted without Sinning
by David Thompson
Wouldn't it be great if you could say that throughout your life you were sorely tempted but that you never sinned? You would be a perfect person. Well, I am afraid that you may have sinned by deceiving yourself at best and lying at worst. You see there has only been one perfect human being, and that was Jesus Christ. He was 100% human being and 100% God.
Today's passage is very familiar. Christ went to the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days. While there, Satan approached Him and as he so often does. And does today, he tempted Jesus with three temptations. All three were designed to elevate Christ to the utmost heights, but in accepting any one of them, He would have been sinning against God.
The passage takes the reader through three temptations that Satan brought to a tired and hungry Lord. The first was to address His hunger by being tempted to turn stones into bread. He said to Satan, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’" The second was to throw Himself down from the temple roof to test if God would save Him. He said here “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’'” And finally, Satan took Jesus to a high place and had Him look out over the land and stated that Christ could be ruler of all He saw. Jesus' response was “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
Christ used scripture and we can too. When I feel oppressed by Satan, I close my eyes and pray that "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can endure it." (I Cor. 10:13)
Another is "Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
Dear God, even though we can not be perfect this side of Heaven, give us the strength to pray for your protection and wisdom when dealing with temptations. We are weak human beings, but you are strong and through you, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we have a powerful force to bring to bear on human frailties. Thank you in advance for your care. Amen!