Don’t Eat Rocks

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” – Luke 4:3-4, ESV

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Even legitimate needs can be filled illicitly.

Today’s verses come from the story of The Great Temptation. It was Jesus versus Satan. And Satan attacks Jesus at his weakness–i.e. his bodily need for food. Yet Jesus does not give into the temptation. To change the stone into bread would have been Jesus addressing a legitimate need–i.e. his hunger from fasting forty days–illicitly.

Jesus rejects the temptation reminding the devil that God’s path is the most important priority. Even having a legitimate need–i.e. hunger–does not legitimize sinning.

An important step to preventing falling into temptation is to realize one is vulnerable and be crystal clear on God’s will on the matter. This clarity comes especially by knowing the appropriate Bible verses regarding such temptation as we see in the case of Jesus being tempted by Satan.

When–as pastors and Christian leaders–we fail to teach on adultery, we leave people more vulnerable to Satan’s temptations. We are not arming people to deal with Satan’s temptations. The sort of temptations that come from social media, integrated workplaces, and other challenging places in addition to the traditional hot spots challenging character and people’s commitment to fidelity.

Let’s return to the main thought here:

Even legitimate needs can be filled illicitly.

We are most in danger when truth is mixed with lies. When needs are legitimate, we are most vulnerable. This is true because Satan can exploit such legitimate needs to get us to believe and act on a lie.

He’s emotionally distant from me and ought to be loving me like Christ did the Church. I’m allowed to have friends. John is just a really nice coworker. We’re just having coffee. Besides, I deserve to have my emotional needs met.

She’s not giving me enough sex. Sally here likes me and is willing. I deserve to have my sexual needs met.

Sex and emotional intimacy are to be met in marriage (e.g. Eph 5 and I Cor 7). However, when they are absent, that is not an excuse to commit adultery! Adults and mature Christians recognize when such things are absent in a marriage, then realize that such are times to be especially vigilant against temptation. They look for ways to honor God while living in such difficult circumstances. Immature and fleshly Christians take such circumstances and try to spin them into excuses to sin. Sadly, such excuses might work on naive pastors or other Christian leaders but they will not work on God.

When Jesus was faced with a true challenge and temptation being weak with a legitimate need, he turned his gaze to God and used truth from the Bible to keep his priorities straight and resist Satan. He did not deny his hunger, yet he did not fill that desire illicitly.

He didn’t eat rocks.

 

 

 

1 thought on “Don’t Eat Rocks”

  1. “Adults and mature Christians recognize when such things are absent in a marriage, then realize that such are times to be especially vigilant against temptation.” I love that sentence so much because it doesn’t matter what’s absent, this is true. I know I felt my husband was not emotionally supportive of me or his kids or anyone in his life but I certainly did not betray him in any way because something was missing.

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