May 22
Feeding on the wrong bread
For reading & meditation: Hebrews 10:1-18
"' I have come to do your will, O God."(v.7)

We continue looking at Christ's temptation in the desert, but from a slightly different perspective. We are seeing how the temptation was designed to keep Him from identifying Himself with the sons of men. We saw yesterday how, He withdrew from men in order that He might give Himself to men. The issue was not so much whether He was the Son of God - He had heard that confirmed quite clearly at His baptism - but whether, being the Son of God, He would also be the Son of Man. Once Jesus feels that His period of fasting is over, He prepares to return to feed His weakened body, but the tempter intervenes and tempts Him to turn the stones of the desert into bread. In doing this, is he really saying to Jesus: "Why go back to men? Stay here and feed Yourself. You are the Son of God, isn't that enough"? We cannot be sure, of course, but seen in this light, it is a possibility. In all spiritual work, there is always the temptation to withdraw, to feed ourselves apart, to rejoice in the fact that we are sons of God and feast upon it. Many Christians down the ages have fallen for this, and have opted for an "escape mentality" in which they attempt to avoid the issue of death via a cross by isolating themselves from it. Mark this and mark it well: a similar temptation will come to you - the temptation to avoid the challenge of going down into the death of your self-life, by focusing on the fact that you are already a son of God, and that there is no need for any further humiliation or pain.
 
Gracious and loving heavenly Father, help me, as You did Your Son, to resist every temptation that tries to keep me from coming to grips with my own personal Calvary. Abide with me, and then I can abide with anything. Amen.
 
For further study:
1. How did Jesus destroy the Devil's works?
2. How can we overcome the Devil's works?