Monday, March 05, 2012

Lord, Throughout These Forty Days...13

I turn now to the last temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness and its parallel in the temptation of our First Parents.

Flash back to the Garden...

"The serpent said to the woman, 'For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was...also desireable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it...her husband, who was with her...ate it."

The fruit was desireable for gaining wisdom. First, I'm not sure how a fruit can be that or appear to be able to do that. Except that our First Parents had already looked too long at it. The yumminess and fruit-ish beauty had lead to the conclusion that this indeed might give added wisdom. The serpent had s-s-said it would.

Wanting to be like God?!?!?! They were already the imago dei His image-bearer and appointed governer of the whole earth. They were already made "in [His] likeness." They already had what the serpent s-s-suggests-s-s God is denying them.

Fast Forward to the Wilderness...

The devil...had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

Here again the Tempter tries to undermine the issue of identity. "If you are..." casts doubt on who Jesus really is. Jesus is the express image of God. Jesus has the promise of protection. Later in His ministry, folks would take up stones to stone him to death and he was protected. In this very chapter outlining the Wilderness experience, a crowd "got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way." God does fulfill His promise to protect His Son.

Jesus knows who He is and Whose He is. He responds, "Do not put the Lord, your God, to the test." No room exists for doubt about either of these two key identity factors. As the True and Faithful Son, He serves His Father. He allows the Father to provide protection. He does not need convincing or proofs.

Back to Life, Back to Reality...

In the Garden, our Parents operated in doubt and reached out to become on their own what they already were by God's design and blessing. They failed and we all became less than what they had been.

In the Wilderness, our Lord operates in confident trust and allows the Father to demonstrate His unique identity in His timing. He prevails and raises us up to who we can be.

May I, like my Lord, remember Whose I am and who I am because of Him!

"Who Am I?"
Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

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