Read Matthew 4:1–11
He had to be made like them, fully human in every way . . . that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest.Hebrews 2:17
The Bible is more than a story, and yet it is a story. Writer Frederick Buechner calls the biblical narrative “a tale that is too good not to be true.” C. S. Lewis says, “In the story of Christ . . . all the other stories have somehow come true.”
Jesus was a master storyteller, able to communicate important truths through parables, which is one kind of story structure. All biblical stories allow us to enter imaginatively into the divine landscape. Sometimes we’re able to see more clearly the truth about God and the truth about ourselves through a narrative lens.
In this month’s study of temptation, we’ve structured the outline around three important biblical stories. First was the story of the Garden of Eden, which illustrates how God meant the world to work and the immediate devastation as a result of sin. The second story was the story of Israel, which we’ve seen is like our own story. Though we, like the Israelites, have sufficient evidence to compel our faith, instead we doubt and wander far from God. The final story is the beautiful redemption of the heartbreak of the Garden and of Israel. It is the gospel story, where Jesus, God’s Son, proves faithful when humanity could not.
In the following days, we’ll learn how Jesus overcame the temptations that are common to us all. He faced the temptation to place His trust in something and someone other than His Father. He was also tempted to believe that He needed to secure His identity apart from God. And His allegiance to God was tested.
The good news—the gospel—is not simply that Jesus has given us a model for resisting temptation, but that He Himself is the answer to our temptations.
Apply the Word
Jesus’ coming was made necessary by our complete inability to do the good that God requires. His perfection alone meets God’s exacting standards of holiness. Only as He trades His perfect record for our criminal one do we begin to have the power to live like Him.
Pray with Us
Pray for the people who create Betel Radio. The work they produce in the next year will impact people who support Betel Radio.