Baptism and Temptation – Matthew 3:13-4:17
They seem like such small things – commanding stones to become bread… or jumping off a high point.
In fact, this first temptation doesn’t seem all that different from the temptation given to Adam and Eve–that was a pretty simple thing, right? Just eat this fruit from the tree, and you’ll become like God.
We are rarely tempted to do some horrible, awful thing. Instead, we are first tempted to do something small… something that seems to make sense at first. Our minds begin to justify the behavior… and that’s where temptation begins to take hold.
It’s only after we succumb to little temptations that the bigger ones begin to present themselves. It’s only after we do things that seem to be “no big deal,” that we are faced with temptations of more obvious sins. But by that point, those temptations no longer seem so bad… and we fool ourselves into believing that something horrible is “no big deal” after all.
The point is to practice saying “yes” to God and saying “no” to temptation, no matter how small the temptation may seem. For only as we practice saying “no” to the little temptations can we be certain that we’ll also be able to say “no” to the bigger temptations. Each small victory will help you become better at resisting the many temptations that come your way.
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.
– Horatio R. Palmer