Tiistai 20.2.2018
Peseytykää, puhdistautukaa, tehkää loppu pahoista töistänne, ne ovat aina silmissäni. Lakatkaa tekemästä pahaa. Jes. 1:16

Jesus, the victor over temptation

in English 15.11.2017 06:40 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
In the Lord’s prayer we ask: “Do not lead us into temptation.” Temptations are enticements which lead us to do wrong or to sin when we comply with the enticement.
In the Large Catechism written by Martin Luther, it is explained that we are tempted by our own flesh, the world and enemy of souls. Flesh signifies our humanity under the influence of original sin. The world means unbelieving people who have lost their connection with God. The enemy of souls is God’s opponent. It tries with all it’s might to interfere with God’s good work.

These three issues create situations of temptation for us which we have difficulty rejecting. Luther says that we are not able to reject temptation with our own strength. This is why we should fervently pray to God: “Do not lead me into temptation.”

Temptations are enticing

The devil or enemy of souls even tempted Jesus. When Jesus was hungry, he asked Jesus to change a rock into bread. We learn from Jesus’ temptations that they do not often seem dangerous or wrong. The enemy knows how to use correct and good things for his own intentions. What harm is there in eating if one is hungry?

The enemy also knows how to use situations to his advantage. He tempts the hungry with bread. Why then did Jesus not change the stone into bread? He did not obey the devil, but he answered: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). Jesus taught that God’s word nourishes man’s soul.

The enemy will not overcome God’s word

The devil tempts people into sin by promising them something great. The devil even promised Jesus God’s full protection. But the devil does not keep his promises. The enemy of souls can not promise on behalf of God that God would save us from those types of dangers which we ourselves have willfully fallen into.

The enemy is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He doesn’t even try to stay in the truth but uses lies and false promises.

Jesus defeated all of the Devil’s temptations with God’s word. He always answered simply with what was written in the Bible. Jesus did not start to argue or try to be more clever than the enemy. He did not try to affect the enemy with his own power, but he invoked God and His word.

The devil can not stand up to the truth of God’s word. In the face of that truth, the devil must always give up and move to other temptations. God’s word can not be made to be useless. That word will last eternally.

Jesus did not give in to temptation

Jesus has experienced all of our temptations. He has overcome them, because he has not fallen into sin. We are not able to overcome our temptations. We do not always even notice them beforehand. We are weak in the face of temptation and Jesus knows this.

In the letter to the Hebrews we are comforted: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16)

Our sinless Redeemer can release us from our sins. We are always preached all of our sins forgiven in his name and blood from the grace throne in God’s kingdom.

Text: Ilkka Lehto
Source: Päivämies 6/2016
Translation: A. H.

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