Tuesday, 1 November 2011
When Jesus came to earth He came as a human to share humanity with us so that we can accept Him and learn from Him. He was born a human baby, vulnerable, and tiny as all babies are. He grew up a human and shared every emotion we share as human beings.
His very humanity is a very important factor in understanding Jesus; the Son of God.
Let's consider a different scenario of this Son of God coming to visit us here on earth.
Imagine for a minute if He had arrived as a God (which He was/is). Imagine if He suddenly appeared out of nowhere in a flash of lightning and thunder. Imagine if He came on earth like a superman or such other fictional hero. With obvious powers like flying, super strength, X ray vision and so on like we see in the movies.
How do you think we humans would have reacted?
The people of the time would have been in total awe of Him and would have obeyed and followed Him out of fear or wonderment.
Hardly free choice - is it?
So God decided that His Son would come to us as a human. He humbled Himself as a baby born in poverty in a stable. Grew up with the poor and the down and outs - not as a king.
As a human He felt every emotion that we feel. Sadness at the death of Lazarus, pity for the ill and poor ... etc.
As a human He also experienced temptations.
In the desert satan tempted Him: If you are God's Son jump from this temple, turn these stones into bread. Why don't you worship me?
How often does satan tempt us too?
Are there not times when, perhaps like a bright light in our head, we suddenly stop and ask ourselves: "Is this all real? Is there really a God out there? Jesus? Life after death? Can all this be true and do I really believe it?"
I hope these temptations don’t cross our minds too often. Because satan is always there; ready to put these and other thoughts in our minds to lead us astray.
The closer we come to God the harder the devil works to lead us away from Him. No point in tempting those who do not believe is there? Satan is too clever to waste his time on them. Instead he lurks in the shadowy corners of our minds ready to pounce at our moments of weakness. When we're ill perhaps, tired, overworked, confused, sorrowful, doubtful and lacking hope. That's when satan moves in and furtively plants the seeds of doubts and confusion in our minds.
And that’s why Christ had to be tried and tested by satan. In order to share our experiences, but, most important, to be an example to us all on how to fight back these temptations.
Every time He was tempted Jesus prayed to His Father.
He was tempted again before He was arrested. He asked: "Can all this pass me by?"
Then, in prayer, He obeyed His Father and said: "Not my will, but Yours."
What an example for us all to emulate.
Not my will, but Yours.