Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | April 7, 2022 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

One of the earliest paintings of the temptation (possibly 1129–34) of Christ.

April 7, 2022

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. “But he answered, “It is written,


“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”


Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of 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,’



“‘On their hands, they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”


Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 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.” 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.


Mark 4:1-11

Dear friends,


Jesus' early Galilean ministry began after His baptism. His first act of service for our salvation was to undergo temptation in the Judean desert.




To be tempted is an awful experience. It is not sinning, but every Christian knows the emotional, physical, biological, deeply telling, and spiritual reality of temptation. Jesus did as well.


Satan sought to tempt Jesus in three different ways, each more significant. First, trying to excite His desire for food, then urging Him to display power sensationally, theatrically—and finally promising Jesus’ authority and glory with no cross to bear if He would ascribe worth to (worship) him.


The third temptation was the most telling—the avoidance of the cross. You see, Jesus wasn’t going to the cross to reform religion but to end it and replace it with Himself. Therefore, the final temptation was pointing to a cross-less Christianity, and a cross-less Christianity isn’t just an incomplete Christianity; it’s the same old satanism of human works.


Temptation works best when future consequences are concealed, hidden from view, or outright denied. That's what took place in the Garden of Eden, where the first temptation happened. What was true in technique in Satan's temptation of Adam and Eve was equally in His temptation of Jesus. But where Adam and Eve gave in, rebelling against God’s will and bringing death into the world, Jesus withstands the temptation, holding to His Father's will. Instead of death, He brings life into the world, by His death, for all who will trust in Him.


In Adam's fall, we see our sin. In Christ's obedience, we see our righteousness. Small wonder, the ultimate aim of Satan’s temptation was to make Christ choose by sight, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and not by faith, in the Father’s plan. God’s intent is that people know and trust Him by faith, not by sight or self-reliance.


Through faith, we even receive Christ’s perfect submission to every bit of the Father’s will as if it were our own! And when temptation comes, as it inevitably will, we set our minds to the perfect work of Christ. His strength in our victories, His forgiveness in our defeats. We are forgiven by His grace, filled by His grace, and we can withstand temptation by His grace (1 Cor. 10:13). So, when our accuser comes calling, we can plead Christ’s obedience. Sin is our fault, but it ends, thanks to Jesus.

Well may the accuser roar, of sins that I have done;
I know them all and thousands more, Jehovah knows not one.”


The first verse of - His Be the Victor’s Name

God bless you and give us aid in our temptations.


Pastor Joe


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