Kara Hackert, Director of Children & Family Ministries
Kara Hackert 0:07
Welcome to Elmhurst CRC's daily dose of the word of God. It's Monday, November 14, and Sunday's coming. This is Kara Hackert and today our reading is from Matthew 4, verses 1 through 11. Jesus is tested in the wilderness. I encourage you to look up this passage in your Bible to read later today. Right now, I would like to read a more extended version from my favorite Children's Bible: "The Children's Bible in 365 stories." Here it is entitled, "Preparing To Start Temptation."
Kara Hackert 0:40
As soon as John baptized Jesus, he was certain that he was the long expected King that God had promised to send to his people. Jesus knew, too, that from now on, he must carry out God's plan for him, and preach the good news that God's rule on earth had begun. His time in the carpenter shop at Nazareth was ove, forever. But before he began his special life work, Jesus wanted to think hard, and to pray to his father about it. He went away on his own into the desert. The sun glare down on bare rocks and dry sand. There was no fresh grass, or green trees to be seen. There was no food to eat. And the only sound to be heard was the howling of the wild beasts. Jesus realized that he would not be like other kings. He would not have find clothes, a rich palace, and slaves to obey his orders. He was going to be poor and badly treated. And at the end, he'd be cruelly killed.
Kara Hackert 1:40
All of this was part of God's loving plan to rescue the whole world from the power of evil. And Jesus willingly accepted God's plan. But Satan, the enemy of God and the source of all evil, was determined to try to stop Jesus from obeying God, just as he had made Adam and Eve disobey God long ago. When Jesus was hungry and exhausted, after many days of prayer, and going without food, Satan suggested to him. "God has said that you are his son. So why go hungry? Just order these little rocks to be turned into loaves of bread." "The Bible says the man cannot live on bread alone", Jesus answered. Jesus refused to use his power to satisfy his own needs. He knew too, that food is not the most important thing in life. Satan went on, "This world belongs to me, recognize my power, do things my way, and I will give it all to you." A glimpse of all the glittering empires of the earth flashed before Jesus eyes in a moment, but he shook his head. "The Bible says that God is the only one we shall obey and worship," he replied. "I will do things God's way." Once more, Satan tried to make Jesus give up God's plans for him. "Do something daring and spectacular," He suggested. "If you throw yourself down from the top of the temple, you will be a popular hero. You need not worry because God says in the Bible, that he will take care of you and save you from hurting yourself." "The Bible also says that it's wrong to test God and then expect him to get you out of trouble,"Jesus replied. In no way could Satan persuade Jesus to turn from God's plan and go his own way. For a while, Satan left him alone, and God sent angels to help and strengthen Jesus after his long struggle against evil.
Kara Hackert 3:43
Let's pray together: Father, we are so thankful for your holy word. Help us to read our Bible each day and keep its words in our heart, so that we might be able to resist temptation. Help us to rely on you and your word. Thank you for your rescue plan and for sending your son, Jesus. He was tempted like we are and understands what we're going through. You strengthen him and you strengthen us. Thank you for your compassion and grace. Thank you for your love and peace. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.