- Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him on a tower of the Temple.
- The devil said to Him “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here, for it is written in the Scriptures that “He shall make His angels look after You, and they shall rescue You in their hands, so that You will not even bruise Your foot against any stone.””
- Jesus said to him: “It is also written in the Scriptures that “You must not deliberately take the Lord Your God for granted.””.
Today I would like to examine the second temptation that the devil placed before Jesus. Here the devil takes Jesus up onto the tower of the temple. The devil challenges Jesus to throw Himself down, so that God’s angels would rescue Him before He gets to the ground. In a way, it is as if the devil is challenging Jesus to prove that God is as powerful as the Bible says He is.
This is one temptation that I personally have struggled to understand. However, I guess the point is that we are not to deliberately disobey obvious and natural laws of physics and life to get God to prove His power; we are not to deliberately and unnecessarily put ourselves into situations where He has to perform miracles to save us. It is not as if God’s power is in any way limited. However God is a Person, not a robot, and He does not appreciate being taken for granted any more than we do.
Examples of taking God for granted that could be relevant to us could be: taking unnecessary risks with our health, not eating fruit/vegetables, not getting exercise, then saying “God will save me”; being careless with our money or jobs, then expecting God to provide miraculously; not studying for our exams then expecting God to somehow crown our efforts with His success.
Where we genuinely find ourselves in situations where we have done all we can and all we should and we still need to cry out to God for miraculous intervention, then we can trust that He will respond graciously, although this might not always be in the way we expect. For instance, there was once a very important exam that I worked incredibly hard for. God did not exactly answer in the way I expected, but from my current perspective, I have zero regrets about this, although that was definitely not how I felt at the time. Looking at it now, I am so glad that I did work as hard as I did for that exam, and I recognise that I am in a far better position now because of how things did work out!
So let us do what we are supposed to do, and trust God for the rest; and let us keep trusting Him, even where His answers are different from what we would ask for! 😉