careless attitude toward grace), and an appeal to idolatry (pursuit
of something greater than Christ's life).
Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights when Satan came
to tempt him. Matthew 4:3 says, "If you are the Son of God, tell
those stones to become bread."
In this passage, Satan was not doubting that Jesus is the son of
God; he was tempting Jesus to use his divine powers. Since Jesus felt
all the things that we ourselves feel in the flesh, he was starving.
Yet did he not succumb. This is a model for us all.
Matthew 4:6 relates the next temptation our Lord endured: "If you
are the Son of God," Satan said, "throw yourself down. For it is
written 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will
lift you up in their hands ... '"
Here the tempter is trying to get Jesus to have a careless
attitude toward God's grace. He is basically saying, "Give in, God
will cover it."
When we ourselves enter into sin, do we ever think: I'll just do
it this once. God will forgive me? Jesus did not. He was fully human
and fully divine. His resistance proves that we also can resist.
Finally, our Lord was tempted by these words: "All this I will
give you if you bow down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9).
Satan was trying to get Jesus to pursue something thought to be
greater than Christ's life.
Thankfully it did not work.
Our Lord sustained against this temptation as well -- and
fulfilled God's divine plan by being crucified for our sins.
When you face temptation, remember, God always gives us a way out.
It is our choice whether to sin. Do we stomp on the sacrifice made
for our sins? We must not have a careless attitude toward grace.
Our savior didn't.
* THE REV. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN'S column runs alternating Fridays.
Reach her by e-mail at email@example.com or by mail at Holy House
Ministries c/o the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, 9641 Tujunga Canyon Blvd., Tujunga, Ca., 91042.