No ifs and buts !
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water and in this moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love and with whom I am well pleased.”
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Mathew 3:16 – 17 + 4:1 - 4
heaven opens above Jesus. God confirms: This is my dear son! Jesus is the Messiah. He alone has the authority to fulfill God's plan of salvation. God, through his holy spirit, anoints his son to the mighty king and prophet. Now Jesus can begin His public ministry.
Now heaven is open again for all people. Every person through Jesus Christ has an open door to God's Father's Heart. No longer does the law rule, but God's grace.
God speaks to his son in the same way, as the son speaks to us. God says, this is my beloved Son. He is uniquely loved. And this beloved son comes into our world and He loves you and me, without any ifs or buts! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”(John 3:16).
God's love is for everyone, without any ifs and buts!
But God also checks his son. He leads him into the desert. Jesus is going through a long time of hunger, loneliness, exhaustion. He meets human misery. Maybe you, dear readers, had to suffer all this too. Why does Jesus have to go through all of this? "Because due to his own suffering when He was tempted, He is now able to help those who are being tempted as well” (Hebrews 2:18). Because Jesus knows these temptations in faith, He is now able to know our “deserts in faith”.
The diabolical temptation is doubt: if you are the Son of God, make bread out of stones! If it is you, prove it! Show that you can do wonders. The devil wants to seduce Jesus to act arbitrarily.
And this is today´s temptation for many Christians. They should give up their trust in God´s care and fight for their own needs. It is the temptation to become dissatisfied with God's gifts and leads. A rather godless saying goes like this: Help yourself, then God will help you.
Jesus remains in total dependence on the Father. For whoever steps out of the dependence in God destroys the trust in God.
Jesus was able to leave his hunger, exhaustion and desert life entirely to the care of the Father. He did not try to finish his desert time on his own. He knew the father would help right at the time when help is needed.
That goes for you and for me too. The letter to the Hebrews provides courage for us: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrew 4:18). All those who belong to the church of God are allowed to tell their whole misery to the Lord Jesus Christ. We may come with our illness, with our material needs, with our faith-weariness, and enter into His presence. We should trust in His help, which will come. No ifs and buts!
I wish you a blessed week!