May 27, 2018
Continuing remarks about the Life of Jesus and His Ministry while here on earth.
After Jesus was Baptized by John, the next event or aspect in the ministry of Jesus on earth was His temptation. Immediately following His baptism in Jordan at the hands of John the Baptist, Jesus was carried away by the Spirit into the wilderness for a season of testing or temptation.
Mark's language is stronger and more dramatic than that of Matthew or Luke, for in this second Gospel we read that Jesus "was driven" or literally, "cast out" into the wilderness for this testing. At any rate Jesus went immediately from His baptism into the wilderness temptations. In the next several weeks, I will give five aspects of His temptation.
First, the reality of the temptation. Were these temptations real or make-believe? This question is suggested by another question: Could Jesus, who is the Son of God, really be tempted? There are those who take the position that since Jesus was Divine, He could not sin; therefore, the temptation could not be real. I cannot agree with any such thinking. It is foolish to think that God would record for us an experience in the life of Jesus which was nothing more than a mere stage play. There is every reason to believe that the temptations of Jesus were real, as real as any temptation faced by any man. The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). As a human being Jesus could have sinned. The most glorious thing about Jesus is not that He could not sin, but that He could have sinned and did not. Temptation means trial, and if it was not real, there was no trial. We must remember that these temptations were real to Jesus and it was through great struggle that Jesus overcame them. It was not easy, even for the Son of God, to withstand these provocations. The intensity of the struggle was as severe as any battle in history.
Wayne McDoanld, Pastor