Jesus' Greatest Temptation
Matthew 26:47-56, Hebrews 12:2
And while he was still speaking, behold Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now his betrayer had given them a sign, saying whomever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him. Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi”, and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?’
…And in that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “You have come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to take me? I sat with you daily, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize me.” But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. The all the disciples forsook him and fled (Matt 26:47-56).
In the story of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, the theme of temptation and justification resonates throughout. It was Judas’ “temptation” to take silver for turning over a “revolutionary,” as Jesus was called in his day. Peter felt “justified” for cutting the ear off of a soldier, but was either Judas or Peter right in their actions?
Temptation is defined as “The wish to do or have something that you know you should not do or have.”
Temptation is all around us, as even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. But while Jesus showed a resistance to temptation by just the words, “It is written,” the enemy continually tried to evoke the whole world and its gratifications upon Jesus.
The enemy is constantly bombarding our minds with thoughts, evoking us to enjoy the wiles of this world, of earthly pleasures of the flesh, and of money. This also gives us the opportunity, in our fleshly realm, to seek justification in what we do, even though we know it is contrary to the Word. Jesus’ resistance to saving his life in the Garden defined his victory for us.
Justification is defined as “an acceptable reason for doing something; something that justifies an act or way of behaving.”
We, as humans, seek out justification for our behavior because this world says, “If it feels good do it. ” The age-old question remains, “At what price?”
- Temptation and Justification
The time that we’re most vulnerable to temptation is when we can justify it the best. But in most cases, humans never focus on the victory that lies ahead. The Scripture in Hebrews 12:2 says, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross.”
- Revenge, Justification, and Passing the Test
The times you are being tested the most are when you can justify being ugly to someone. However, if you pass the test, God is going to bless you in ways you never thought of or dreamed about. There are two things that belong to God: the tithe and vengeance. Let God fight your battles and you will come out the victor - every time.
- What is one area in your life that causes you to be tempted the most? Do you find ways to justify it even though you know deep down it is wrong?
- Have you ever felt revenge toward someone because you thought they did you wrong? According to the message, what should you do instead?
- How can you overcome that temptation, and what scriptures can help you when you are tempted or when you desire revenge for as wrong done?
To have complete victory, you must listen to that still, small voice - the Holy Spirit- that is saying to you to surrender your justifications for depression, hopelessness, defeat, and actions toward other people. There is nothing that has happened to you that God cannot work out for you if you put it into His hands. Let go of any justification in your life and obey God.