Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

Since I have not written an entry in a while, I am combining two entries into one. The first is quite simply my take on a gospel reading I heard in church last week. The second is a short analogy of mine I thought of while praying and not being able to have myself to pray aloud. So without further ado...


"Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.

The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: "Since you're God's son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread."

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to really live."

For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, "They're yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I'm in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they're yours, the whole works."

Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: "Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness."

For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, "If you are God's son, jump. It is written, isn't it, that 'he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone'?"

"Yes," said Jesus, "and it's also written, 'Don't you dare tempt the Lord your God."

That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity." -- Luke 4:1-13

My first reaction: Devil got served!
I read this passage as if the Devil was thinking "two can play that game!" Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy to justify why he did not have to prove himself. The Devil was getting tired of being rejected so he attempted to do just as Jesus did and quote the Bible as well.
Devil: "What NOW, Jesus? What NOW?"
Yet in the end, Jesus wins. He escaped the temptation of the Devil despite the Devil's best efforts. The Devil knew he wasn't winning this battle, so he gave up, hence being "served."

Going back to the meaning of the passage: "Don't you dare tempt the Lord your God."
Some people say they cannot believe in God because they have no proof that he exists. Isn't that what faith is? The definition of faith according to Dictionary.com is "belief that is not based on proof." I guess this could sound like I am going back on my word, but really I am just trying to prove a point. "Seeing is believing" but believing is not necessarily seeing. Don't go around testing God's power and goodness. He is there but he is not going to perform magic tricks for you so you can get your way. Just keep that in mind.


God, you're like a large e-mail inbox for my prayers. I know you have sent out many responses, but sometimes they get lost in cyberspace. Sometimes I can't download the file, but I know I received it. Help me free up the space, to get rid of the SPAM and junk mail, but keep what matters.


"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." -- Deuteronomy 31:8

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