Wednesday, January 28, 2015

'The Temptation of Jesus'

Dear friends,
The 'Temptation of Jesus' is the next story from the life of Jesus that we are going over in our story group in Kayamandi (SA).  In some Christian circles this story is associated with Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting that serves as the first day of Lent. Lent originated as a memorial of Jesus' fasting 40 days in the desert and some Christians observe it in preparation for Easter. The Biblical story of the 'Temptation of Jesus' is found in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Audio

1) Watch and or Listen to the Story. Repeat as necessary. Then 2) read the Commentary below.

After his baptism, Jesus faced the devil who sought to bring Jesus’ identity into question (Mt.4:3).  God had said, ‘You are my beloved son!’ But Satan essentially said, ‘if you’re God’s son, why are you starving in this desert? Why wait on God? Turn these stones to bread and meet your own needs.’ Jesus answers the devil by submitting to God and His word (Mt. 4:4, Dt.8:3). Then Satan said, ‘if you’re God’s son, God’s king, then prove that God is with you. Jump from this temple for God will send His angels to lift you up (Mt.4:6, Ps.91:11-12).’ Again, Jesus submits to God and His word by trusting and not testing God (Dt.6:16, Ex.17).

Finally, Satan basically said, ‘if you want to be king of all the earth then take the easy way out? Why deny yourself and submit to God? I can give you all the kingdoms of this world if you will bow and worship me (Mt.4:9).’ Again, Jesus submits to God’s word which says to serve and worship God and him only. Then Satan left Jesus and God sent his angels to ‘lift Jesus up’ (Mt.4:11). Jesus, unlike Adam and Israel before him, was wholeheartedly committed to go God’s ways, as God’s true king.

After being baptized in the Jordan, Jesus went into the wilderness to face the equivalent of Israel’s forty years in the desert. Jesus would replay Israel’s story and succeed where both Israel and Adam had failed. The devil tempted Jesus, but God tested Jesus’ resolve to rely on God and His word. He defended himself using scripture from the story of Israel in the wilderness (See Dt.8:2-3). Jesus endured Satan’s temptations, in order to faithfully carry out God’s calling to redeem Israel and the world.

Our God tells those who trust Jesus that we are God’s children (Jn.1:12). Yet, our adversary tempts us to turn us away from serving God and His purposes. While our Father tests us that we may learn to depend on God and His word (Jms.1:2-3, 12). So if you have heard God affirm that you are His child then be assured that the devil will bring your identity ‘in Christ’ into question and will entice you to go your own way and take the easy way out. Knowing this, we must use the same defence as the son of God and use the truth of God to expose the lies of Satan. So keep you’re your eyes on Jesus and rely on God and His word!

Psalm 91:11–14 (NIV84) 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

Tsalani bwino (stay well),
Rev. Jay, Laura, Clara, Katherine and Lauren Stoms
Tsalani bwino (stay well),
Jay, Laura, Clara, Katherine and Lauren Stoms
Prayer Requests:
1) For the 'International Students Ministry' at Christ Church Stellenbosch.
2) That we can organize a 'School of Storying' in Malawi for June/July 2015.
3) Pray that we can pick up three new partnering churches.
4) For a 'good deal' as we seek to purchase a vehicle.

5) For longer term accommodations for our family in Stellenbosch.

6) That the health and growth of our 'story group' in Kayamandi.
7) Starting a series of luncheons for International students where we would story through the life of Jesus.   

8) About possibly going to South Sudan for two weeks to train Anglican Pastors.

1 comment:

Adrian Baillie-Stewart said...

Hey Jay, keep publishing these kinda posts ... they're pleasantly short, punchy and to-the-point. Great for learning and certainly will make a great impact for the audiences your ministry is geared towards serving. :-)

PS — your Prayer Requests are in my prayers.