Monday, January 21, 2013

Jesus' like trust Luke 4:1-11

I've been blessed for the last 4 days to have conversations with some non-believers. It's been an online conversation at a blog I keep on newsvine So far in 170 some comments I've seen comment from believers and non believe--some non-believers are angry and insulting. Some are wrestling with the question. "How do you experience God?" and their own bitter experiences of religion, church, and theology that just don't add up to a happy life in their minds.

I didn't expect to see so many non - believers come to deal with the question and I've tried hard to fairly answer all who have come. Some are ready to name the sins of the church past and present. Some want to talk biology or cosmology. Some just want to stir the coals. And in it all I find a moment of grace to share a little of my faith and I hope I am gracious enough that the true nature of God revealed in the person of Jesus might come through for all to see.

Looking at Luke 4:1-11 I think that Jesus can relate to the pesky and pointed questions. I sort of wish he were the one having these exchanges rather than me with my limited words and limited capacity to love. Right after Jesus Baptism Luke 4:1-11 says the Devil came at Jesus 3 times. In my own experience it doesn't take the Devil long to do a whole lot of damage--one angry conversation can be all it takes to tear a family apart. One moment of temptation can be all that's required to pull someone away from God.

When the devil challenged Jesus, "If you are the son of God..." in Luke 4:3 and Luke 4:9 the enemy made a bold assumption--that Jesus would try to prove his Divinity by taking up the dares. Jesus was the one the Devil challenged as in Luke 4:6-7 but the enemy was opening up himself to challenges as much as he was challenging Jesus.

Each time Jesus answered the Devil as one with faith in God unseen. Faith is a very curious part of a believers life. It moves people to do unreasonable things--and gives us peace this world can't give. A wonder of faith is that in Jesus we will find that same peace John 14:27. It moves men like Martin Luther King Jr and Desmond Tutu to be almost fearless in working for justice. It moves people facing great struggles to see something better even though the world says otherwise. Jesus showed us how to trust as he faced the enemy.

May the peace of God give us courage in the face all challenges. Amen. Peace to all, John

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