Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

The first 11 verses of this chapter are the temptation of Christ.  It is an incredibly important and complex portion of scripture with many significant ties to the Old Testament law and the original fall of man.

We should not be surprised that Jesus was tempted to sin because Satan tempts all people, however, this was no ordinary temptation.  The outcome of all that God had pledged to do for mankind hung upon this encounter.  If Jesus failed/sinned, he was no longer fit to be the Messiah. The eternal outcome of all mankind was on the line that day in the wilderness.

The problem of sin started back in the Garden of Eden.  As you recall, Adam was in perfect relationship with Father God.  He lived in a place of beauty.  He had all he wanted to eat. There was no such thing as sickness or death.  In this state of perfection, Satan came to tempt him.

The temptation of Adam contained the three principle classes of sin:  the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.  Adam failed in all three categories, bringing sin and death upon all men.

1 John 2:16 –For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father, but is from the world.

The temptation of Jesus must also include the three classes of sin.  He must also face temptation as a man, but he must overcome it, so that he can be the perfect blood sacrifice for sin.  Praise be to God, Jesus was victorious over Satan!  Because of this victory, we can be justified by faith in the sight of God.

Romans 5:19 – For as by the one man’s disobedience (Adam) the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.

While Jesus’ victory over sin allowed him to be our savior, it also had another benefit.  The temptation allowed Jesus to experience and understand what it is like for you and I to be tempted.  Since he knows what it is like to be tempted, he can help us in our times of temptation.

Hebrews 2:18 – Because he [Jesus] himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Not only does he sympathize with us, he also makes a way of escape for us!

1 Corinthians 10:13 – There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Think about that for a minute… when we are tempted, we are not doomed to fail, rather we are set up to win!  Jesus has made it possible for us to resist sin and send the devil away empty handed.  How can we accomplish this?  Let’s take a look at how Jesus did it.

Matthew 4:2-3 – And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  And the tempter cam and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Interestingly, Moses fasted 40 days up on Mount Sinai, before God gave him the old covenant/law (see Exodus 24).  Now Jesus fasts 40 days before embarking on the ministry that would bring us the new covenant.

Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of his public ministry, which would end in his sacrifice on the cross.  It makes sense that immediately after his baptism, he separated himself for a time, in order to prepare himself for the three year ministry that he was about to perform.  In preparation, he spends 40 days in fasting and prayer.

Obviously, at the end of this period, Jesus is starving!

It is during this time of weakness that Satan tempts Jesus with the first temptation, the lust of the flesh.  And the temptation is very tricky, isn’t it?  Jesus has just recently been declared the Son of God.  He has power and authority.  He is very hungry.  What could be easier than turning the stones into bread?  What could be sinful about using his power to satisfy his own needs?  After all, it wasn’t God’s will for him to starve to death, was it?

By telling Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Satan implies that God is not a good Father; that he does not care about Jesus or his needs and that he cannot be trusted.  If that is the case, then the logical thing is for Jesus to use his power to take care of himself in the way that seems best to him; Jesus should rely on himself and not the wisdom and provision of his heavenly Father.  Essentially, this is rebellion against God.

Notice how closely this mimics the fall of Adam and Eve!  Satan came to them in the Garden of Eden and got Eve to point out that there was a single tree they were not permitted to eat from.  He tells Eve that they would not die if they ate its fruit, in fact, they would become as gods, knowing good from evil.

Satan implied to Eve that God was not a good Father.  He was holding out on her – he had wisdom and knowledge that she needed but he would not allow her to have it.  Therefore, she should take matters into her own hands.  She should use her power to pick the fruit and eat it.  Thus, she and Adam were both convinced to rebel against God and sin entered the world.

Jesus, however, was not so easily fooled.  Jesus was fully convinced that his Father cared for him and would not refuse to give him any gift or provision that would be good for him.   He also knew that God would deliver those provisions at the perfect time; to use his own power to make it happen sooner would be to short circuit the plan of God and it would be tantamount to rebellion.  Also, Jesus was not taking council or orders from Satan.  He consulted God, he waited for God and he would receive all that God had for him at the perfect time, including bread.

Hint:  Satan tempts us in the same way.  For example, maybe you are looking for a spouse to share your life with.  There is nothing wrong with that desire, in fact the Bible says it is a good thing.  But maybe, even though you have prayed about it, the right person has not come along.

At that point, Satan is likely to come and whisper things in your ear like these:  God isn’t very good to you, is he?  It’s God’s fault that you are lonely.  He could give you the perfect spouse right now but he won’t because he is keeping all the good stuff from you.  Or maybe he hasn’t given you a spouse because he forgot to make one for you!  How careless of him!  Since God does doesn’t care about your and isn’t stepping up for you, why don’t you just take matters into your own hands?  Why not relax your standards a bit and find a fun exciting new mate on your own!  You can be married by the end of the year, if you want!

Sometimes the thing Satan tempts you with is not an evil thing. 

Sometimes it is a good thing (like bread or a spouse), but if you try to obtain it in a sinful way or through sinful means, it becomes a sin and a snare to you.

Matthew 4:4 – But he answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Jesus shows us how to recognize and repel this attack of Satan.  We do it through the word of God.  Notice that in all the temptations of Satan, Jesus uses the word to defeat him.

Interestingly, Jesus himself was the word of God incarnate, yet he does not quote himself to defeat Satan.  Instead, Jesus quotes the Old Testament law, which was the current covenant during his temptation.  There were no secret unattainable documents – he used a resource that was available to everyone.

In the same way, we can use the word of God, the Bible, to repel the attacks of Satan.  The truth of the word will give us that ‘escape hatch’ whenever we are faced with temptation.

The key is that you have to know it!  You can’t wait until the time of the temptation and then wonder what the scripture has to say.  You have to read it now and hide it in your heart as a weapon to be used in combat.

Psalms 119:11 – They word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.

Why not begin today?  Pick up your Bible and read it consistently, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day.  You have 15 minutes don’t you?  You can access the bible on your tablet, cell phone, computer or you can use an old fashioned paper copy.  No matter how you access it, make the time to read it on a daily basis.  Use it to fill up your arsenal of weapons against the enemy.

Matthew 4:5-7 – Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle o the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you,” and, “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”   Jesus said unto him, “Again it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”

This second temptation involves the sins of pride and presumption.  Satan and Jesus are at the tallest point of the temple, a holy building which was revered and admired by all people.  Satan is encouraging Jesus to do as he wishes or to do what he ‘feels like’ doing (in this case, jump off the pinnacle) regardless of what God’s will was for him.  Presumably, if Jesus jumped, it would force God to come to his rescue because of the promise of protection in Psalms 91.

Notice that in this case, Satan is the one quoting scripture.  However, he actually misuses it.  Some of what he says is correct, while some of it is wrong or missing.

Satan correctly states that God has ministering angels which protect the saints of God.  However, he leaves out a key phrase in the promise of Psalms 91 which is “to guard you in all your ways’.  In other words, the promise of protection is for children of God who are walking in the ways or paths of righteousness that God has laid out for them.  It does not apply when we are intentionally sinning and going against what we know to be God’s will.  We cannot manipulate God into performing for us by twisting his word.  If we could, it would be like blackmailing God.  Therefore, since it was not God’s will for Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, the promise would not apply and Jesus may have jumped to his death.

This brings up a couple of important points for our consideration.  First, you need to know the scriptures, because Satan knows them too and if you are not knowledgeable, you can be tricked by him.  There are even ministers and teachers who twist the word of God, so be on your guard against false teachings even when they come from a pulpit!  Make sure that everything you are being taught is lining up with the Bible.

Second, don’t try to manipulate or blackmail God to do your bidding.  Do not presume to sin thinking that all will be well because you can run into grace.  The scriptures are very plain that as Christians, we are to lead lives of personal holiness, following God’s plan for our lives. Only then can we lay claim to his many life-giving promises.

Matthew 4:8-9 – Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

We do not know exactly how Satan did this, but we can be sure it was done and that it was a very real and difficult temptation for Jesus.

Imagine the dazzling things that Satan showed him.  All the glory, splendor, adoration, power and pomp of the mighty kingdoms of earth.  All the food, entertainment, wealth and luxury imaginable.  How wonderful it all must have looked!

The ‘lust of the eyes’ is one of the three major categories of temptation that Satan uses (pride is also at work in this temptation as well).  Our eyes have a habit of being dazzled by vanity or empty promises while being blind to the sorrow and horrible consequences that come along with sin.

The truth is that all Satan has to offer are ‘baits’.  They look flashy and good, but when you latch on to them, you are ensnared by false promises (just ask any fish!).

Such was the case here.  Satan’s bait really contained three snares:

Satan was offering dominion of the earth.  However, that was a lie because he could only offer Jesus a temporary dominion over the earth, while Father God was going to grant Jesus an eternal kingdom that was spiritual and also physical.

Satan was offering immediate gratification – Jesus could be king right now presumably without any pain or work involved.  However, that was not God’s plan.  Jesus would be the eternal, almighty King of Kings, but that honor and title came only through obedience to the cross.  It came with a price.

Satan did his best to tempt Jesus to worship him.  If Satan could get Jesus to gain a kingdom by bowing down to him, that would make Jesus a servant of Satan and all his rule and authority would come from Satan, not from God.  What a tiny, limited, futile kingdom that would be!

Satan offers us a similar deal.  We are willing to bow down to false idols of money, pleasure, entertainment and other things as well.  There is nothing wrong with these things, but we must acknowledge that all good things come from God, and they must be kept in their proper perspective – secondary to the will of God for our lives.  If they take precedence over God, they become an idol and worshipping an idol is the same as worshipping Satan.

Matthew 4:10-11 – Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”  Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Jesus again uses the word to rebuke Satan.  You can almost hear the disgust in his voice as he strikes the winning blow and sends Satan away.  In this case, the scriptures he used were Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20.  These are scriptures that we should remind ourselves of daily!

Three times Satan had tempted Jesus and three times he was soundly defeated.  Victory over sin is ours, through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So let me offer you some encouragement, relief and strength:  Temptation does not have to be a losing battle.  Through the Word of God and the blood of Jesus, you can resist the devil and he will flee from you!

One thought on “Matthew, Chapter 4 – Part 1

  1. Matthew
    1d ago
    Chapter 6, Part 2
    We continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount. In our last post we noted an important truth that Jesus was teaching the people:

    The true Christian is not to perform acts of righteousness in such a way as to bring glory to themselves. If they do, they have no reward from God.

    Jesus then gave three specific examples to his listeners. Last week we studied gifts to the poor and prayer. This week we will look at fasting.

    Matthew 6:16 – And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

    Our first question should be ‘what is fasting’? Generally, it means to voluntarily abstain from something (usually food) for a time, as a token of penitence or grief for religious reasons.

    What is the historical context of fasting? Abstinence from food is the natural result of deep sorrow. The sorrow could be caused by any number of things such as death, disease or some other kind of loss. The length of time a person did not eat became known as a fast.

    In a religious context, the deep sorrow is caused by sin. A person extremely troubled and grieved by sin would experience a loss of appetite, which resulted in a fast. Because of the grief they were experiencing, people who fasted had a sad countenance. Often, they did not wash or put on clean clothes. As a result, it was fairly easy to spot people who were fasting.

    In the old covenant (Old Testament Law) God had appointed one day each year for the Israelites to fast. It was the Day of Atonement, the day that the priest shed blood and put it on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of the people.

    Now fast-forward to the time of Jesus. The religious leaders had taken the concept of fasting and made it an art form! They made it a tradition to fast at least two times a week (Luke 18:12), sometimes more. During their fasts, they put on sackcloth instead of regular clothes and they put ashes on their heads instead of the usual ointments. Thus, you could easily spot them anywhere they went.

    The Scribes and Pharisees had lost the true meaning of fasting. No longer was it grief for sin, or a time set apart for reflection upon God. Instead it became an empty ritual of self discipline, as well as a source of pride. This kind of fasting made them hypocrites, because they were only seeking the praise or admiration of other men.

    Jesus warns his listeners that when you fast this way, you have received the only reward possible – the empty admiration of men.

    Matthew 6:17-18 – But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who s in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    Now Jesus speaks of true fasting. When one of his followers fasted, they were to dress, wash and otherwise appear normal. He or she was to hide their inward contrition or mourning from the world. They were to open their hearts and express their grief and sorrow only to God.

    Jesus promises that even though men are unaware of your sacrifice, God sees and honors it.

    This might be a good time to reaffirm that God always sees what is in our hearts – ALWAYS. So keep a careful watch on what you allow your mind to dwell upon, because those are the things that will determine the thoughts and motivations of your heart.

    Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    By way of summary, we see that the religious leaders had taken spiritual or true religious acts (giving to the poor, prayer, fasting) and corrupted them! They continued to perform the outward acts, but their hearts were centered on their own glory, not the glory of God.

    Jesus is calling his followers back to true religion – to make sure that our hearts and motivations are pure before God as we perform these actions. In this way, our service will bring glory to God.

    Matthew 6:19 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

    What is the historical context of this statement? Back in the times of Jesus, wealthy people accumulated and kept their treasures at home. Treasure could include (but is not limited to) gold, silver or brass in the form of dishes, goblets/glasses, utensils or coins. Richly ornamented articles of clothing and jewelry were especially desirable. Hence, moths, rust and thieves were the principal dangers in losing your fortune.

    We’ve all heard the phrase ‘you can’t take it with you’, and this sums the idea up pretty well. Earthly treasure is just that – earthly. Since your life is short (average American lifespan of 75-80 years), you only have that long to enjoy it. After you die, all your earthly treasure will go to someone else, or even worse, the government.

    Matthew 6:20-21 – but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    Jesus implies in these verses that every man will have his treasure. You can certainly have earthly treasure, and you will need at least some of it in this life for obvious reasons.

    But Jesus commands us to lay up eternal or heavenly treasures. Treasures in heaven are durable and lasting; they are eternal. They do not wear out or disintegrate and are not subject to being stolen. They never lose their value.

    Here’s the catch: both earthly treasures and heavenly treasures are earned during your time on planet earth. So you get to decide how much of each you will pursue. And whatever you pursue the most, your heart will pine after.

    How do we earn heavenly treasures?

    I Corinthians 3:11-15 – For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

    Now don’t misunderstand the scriptures. You CANNOT earn your way into heaven by good works. There is only one way to be reconciled with God, and that is through the blood of Jesus. But once you are reconciled to God, you can store up treasure in heaven by obedience in performing good works with a sincere heart.

    Most of us seek out opportunities for earthly gain then dedicate ourselves them, whether that be a job or a business, etc. Why not keep your eyes and heart open for opportunities to do good works – they are all around you! Train yourself to look for them; ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you and soon you will have all you can handle.

    Matthew 6:22-23 – The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

    In the physical realm, the eyes direct the rest of the body as it walks. Imagine that you are on a busy city street and in the distance you see an art museum (or an ice cream parlor if you prefer!) and you decide to walk there. As you walk, your legs, feet and arms move where the eye directs.

    Your eye will steer you around puddles or rocks or broken glass. It will assist you in stepping off the curb without falling and stop you when traffic is coming. All the while, the eyes keep the body steadily moving toward the ultimate goal, the art museum. Eventually you arrive there and enjoy the rest of the afternoon, courtesy of your eyes.

    Something similar happens in the spiritual realm. Your ‘spiritual eyes’ or your heart, lead your spiritual man around as he walks through life. Your heart can be set on one of two things: either light or darkness. These are mutually exclusive; your heart can only be set on one.

    Darkness represents misery, adversity, death and alienation from God. In short, darkness is being in a state of sin.

    Light represents joy, peace, life and citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven. In short, light is being in right relationship with God, through the blood of Jesus.

    In this teaching, Jesus once again emphasizes an important truth: God is looking at the heart of individuals, and whatever is in your heart will manifest in your life

    In this teaching, Jesus once again emphasizes an important truth: God is looking at the heart of individuals, and whatever is in your heart will manifest in your life.

    Case in point: the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They performed good works (fasting, prayer, giving to the poor) and had religious training, yet their hearts were far from God. Their hearts (eyes) were set on darkness. Eventually, they fell into anger, jealousy and bitterness. They wound up lying and plotting in order to crucify Jesus and they honestly thought they were doing the right thing! That is what happens when your heart is focused on darkness.

    However, if your heart is set on God, it will manifest in good works that bring glory to God.

    Case in point: the apostle Paul. Early on, he too was walking in darkness as he performed empty works. However, he eventually came to be in a right relationship with God. As a result, the focus of his heart was changed. From that moment on, his heart was set on the light. Even harsh circumstances, persecution and imprisonment did not shake his faith. He went on to write the majority of the New Testament and his witness for God reached to the highest echelons of his day! What a magnificent witness for God!

    What is your heart focused on?

    Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

    The concept that “no man can serve two masters” was not a new idea. It was a proverb that was not only very common back in the times of Jesus, but it was also universally accepted as being true. Jesus takes this common truth/proverb and applies it to the topic of riches.

    When riches hold dominion in the heart, God has lost authority. When God holds dominion in the heart, riches have lost authority. There is only one throne in your heart; consequently, only one master can reign there.

    This is not to say that good Christians are poor, or that those who are rich in worldly goods cannot properly serve God. Every Christian is a steward of the blessings that God gives them. Some Christians are well able to be good stewards of vast amounts of worldly goods; to others it would be a snare.

    The best thing you can do is to remember that you don’t ‘own’ anything. Rather, you are a steward of all the people, time, money and goods that are under your authority. So put God on the throne of your heart, and steward your blessings according to his laws!

    Let me give you some encouragement and some relief: Do you have a difficult time fasting? Or are you one of the multitude of people who cannot fast for medical reasons? If so, I want you to know that fasting is still possible for you! While fasting is traditionally food, nothing in the Bible says that you can’t make a substitution.

    I am a dedicated coffee drinker. I once felt that I needed to fast before God for a spiritual breakthrough. I fasted all coffee for 30 days, and God answered my prayers. I have also fasted other things that I greatly enjoyed and God has honored those fasts too.

    When choosing a non-food fast, make sure the item or activity is something that will truly be a sacrifice for you. Here are some suggestions: Stop watching TV for a time. Stay off your phone for 24 hours. Commit to read only your Bible for a specific time period. Stop shopping for a time. Whatever you decide, make sure you spend your extra time in prayer and seeking God. He will see into your heart and reward you!

    Let me give you some strength: We have seen over and over in the last couple of posts that God is very interested in the state of your heart. Sometimes, we do things out of a desire to do good, but they are misunderstood by others. Sometimes, we do things out of a desire to do good, but they blow up in our faces or people reject them.

    When that happens, you may be tempted to quit reaching out to others. But rather than quitting, stand strong! Even though you may feel embarrassment, remember that man is looking on the outward appearance, but God is looking at your heart and its motivations. Just because man rejects your goodness, that doesn’t mean that God does. Continue to stand strong and bring glory to his name!

    Chapter 5, Part 1 Matthew 5:1-2 – Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth…
    Chapter 4, Part 1 Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The first 11 verses of this…
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    Matthew 7:28–29
    The Authority of Jesus
    And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. — Matthew 7:28–29

    Detail of a stained glass window of an icon depicting Christ the King.

    This passage mentions Jesus teaching the crowds, yet at the start of the Sermon on the Mount, it says Jesus was teaching his disciples. Is this a mistake?

    No, because we are no longer in the Sermon on the Mount, but in the next narrative section of the Gospel. The transition is in verse 7:28. All the transitions have things such as “when Jesus finished these sayings” or similar. Despite mentioning teaching the crowds this early in the gospel, Matthew does not get on to that until Chapter 13. Here is how the gospel is arranged.

    Narrative Teaching Transition
    1—4 5—7 7:28
    7:29—9:34 9:35-10:42 11:1
    11:2—12: 50 13:1—52 13:53
    13:53—17:27 18:1—35. 19:1
    19:1—22:46 23:1—25:46 26:1
    26:1—28:20 (The Passion)
    The authority of Jesus is the authority of a King, THE king. What his kingship means is tackled in detail in the narrative of chapters 8 and 9, which I am looking at during Advent.

    Jesus’ authority was not like that of the scribes in that it was direct from God, but it also differed in that he used his own authority, not quoting other rabbis as the scribes did.

    Jesus’ authority was also shown in what he did. That is coming up in the next few blogs.

    Highway to Hell or Stairway to Heaven
    Why make the hard road* Matthew 7:13–14 Matthew’s Gospel, the Sermon on the Mount Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road…
    Two houses
    Stand firm Matthew 7:24–27 The Sermon on the Mount “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the…

    Svijet advent predstavlja kroz kupnje, prodaje i zabave a to čovjeka ne može usrećiti!
    Svijet advent predstavlja kroz kupnje, prodaje i zabave a to čovjeka ne može usrećiti!
    U ovo vrijeme priprave i iščekivanja Božića kako ne staviti u centar našega života ono što nas vjernike sve očekuje, a to je kraljevstvo Božje.
    Upravo u ovim prvim danima došašća i razmišljamo o ponovnom dolasku Kristovu i kraju svijeta. Kraju svijeta koji je prepun mržnje, ratova, obijesti, progonstva. Svijeta koji je stvorio dehumanizirani čovjek svojevoljno. Svijeta u kojem vlada raskol, mržnja, zavist, otimačina. Svi smo svjesni toga ali o tome mudro šutimo kako ne bi koga povrijedili ili kome se zamjerili. Nažalost i samo došašće koje je sveto vrijeme priprave iščekivanja rođenja Boga postalo neko novo sveto vrijeme idolatrije, potrošnje i zabave. Medijski nam se došašće predstavlja kroz slikovitost sretne kupnje, prodaje, zabave bez odgovornosti. Sve oko nas vrišti: uživaj, kupuj, troši. Kupi pa ćeš biti sretan. Tad će tvoj život biti ispunjen i radostan. Ali ljubav se ne može kupiti. Dobrota, poniznost, strpljivost, iskrenost, blagost, nesebičnost se ne daju kupiti.

    Sveto vrijeme koje nas pripravlja za bolji svijet usprkos svem blještavilu i ljepoti postalo je ispunjeno ispraznošću. Nažalost nikada se svečanim, kićenim šeširom ne može pokriti siromaštvo u glavi. Tako niti sa kićenim, vanjštinom sjajnim došašćem ne može se nadomjestiti siromaštvo duha i duše. Govor o kraljevstvu Božjem danas postaje veliki izazov jer i sami kršćani su puni nevjerice. Očito se toliko grčevito držimo ovog vidljivog da nam spasenje i život vječni ostaje nedohvatljiv i nezanimljiv. Utoplili smo se u mase koje nas vodaju tamo gdje ni sami ne želimo. Nikad ne žrtvujte ono što jeste samo zato jer netko drugi s tim ima problema. Vjera se gradi na čvrstom temelju.

    Cijeli život sve što nas čini vjernicima gradi se na dobrim temeljima. Tolike su kušnje koje bi nas mogle raspuhati. Toliki duhovni potresi koji su razorne magnitude. Toliki izazovi pred kojima pokleknemo i zanijekamo najsvetije pa i da vjerujemo. U kraljevstvo ljubavi ulazi se sa ljubavlju. Ljubavlju koja nema zadrške već je darovana u cijelosti ljudskosti i našega bića. Svaki put kad nešto ljubomorno za sebe sakrijemo od Boga i ostavimo ne dopuštamo da Bog u nama čini čudo koje nam je potrebno za koje toliko molimo. Doista nam je potrebna promjena mentalnog sklopa u koje smo se uljuljali. Tako smo ravnodušni prema onom što je sveto a kada nas snađu vlastitom krivnjom i odabirom poteškoće onda vičemo nekontrolirano Gospodine, Gospodine ali bez snažne vjere i poniznog stava. „Neće u kraljevstvo nebesko ući svaki koji mi govori: ‘Gospodine, Gospodine!’, nego onaj koji vrši volju Oca mojega, koji je na nebesima.“

    Ako želimo da kraljevstvo Božje bude među nama onda promijenimo svoje i poglede na život ali i svoje životne stavove koje nas blokiraju i ne daju da Bog djeluje u nama i vršimo Božju volju. Naučimo se živjeti usmjereni prema nebesima prema svetosti u Božjoj prisutnosti. Tada nastupa potpuna transformacija života. Ako nešto u tom procesu i izgubimo to će biti zato kako bi smo dobili nešto još bolje. Nisu nas dostojni puno puta oni za koje se toliko grčevito borimo a oni ništa sami za sebe ni drugog ne žele učiniti.

    Otvarajmo se Božjoj ljubavi i milosti. Ne mislimo da sve znamo. Ne prepuštajmo se utvarama svojih znanja. Kršćani uče svakoga dana od svojega učitelja Isusa Krista. Oni koji su polovični oni uče na svojim greškama. A oni koji se prave sveznalicama na svojoj gluposti jer oni i onako sve znaju. „Stoga, tko god sluša ove moje riječi i izvrši ih, bit će kao mudar čovjek koji sagradi kuću na stijeni. Zapljušti kiša, navale bujice, duhnu vjetrovi, i sruče se na tu kuću, ali ona ne pada. Jer — utemeljena je na stijeni.“ Neka nas Bog iz dana u dan poučava i neka on koji je životvorac po ljubavi vršenja njegove volje primi u svoje kraljevstvo vječnosti.

    don Damir Bistrić


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