The message from the February 26, 2023 gathering of Tapestry Church. Matthew 4:1-11 while in God’s rule humanity was tempted, chose their own will, and was sent into the wilderness. The Son of God went into the wilderness and was tempted in order to bring humanity back into the presence of God.
Autogenerated Message Transcript
Lenten 1 2 26 2023 – Mono.mp3
If you would like to escape your parents for a little while, Miss Loretta and Miss Maria and Maria, that’s my southerness coming out with the miss there now are going to be going into the cafe.
You do not have to, but you are more than welcome to, so the rest of us. We’re going to talk about Jesus’s temptation.
So if you have your.
Bulletins. It’s in front of you. If you have your Bibles with you, it’s the 4th chapter of Matthew’s gospel.
So the gospel according to Matthew’s fourth chapter, it will also be appearing by the Magic of light on a piece of fabric.
So this is what the word of the Lord says.
Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry.
I got to be completely honest and I’m just gonna say that’s one of my favorite sentences in all of Scripture.
Just because of the way it it downplays that after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights he was.
I have never fasted 40 days and 40 nights I have fasted, but I have not fasted that long.
But I have known some people who have and one of them you’ve actually met.
He was one of my good friends, a guy named Andy, who many of you know, has passed away not because the fasting.
And he did it.
And he talked about.
How he couldn’t have done it without other people that it like, you’re literally he was like, I could barely move as a result.
So it’s neither here nor there.
I just love I I think every now and then scripture gets a little snarky.
That’s a little snarky right there.
After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry.
The Tempter came to him and said if you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread.
Jesus answer it is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but own every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Then the devil.
Took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the.
Well, if you are the son of God, he said.
Throw yourself down, for it is written.
He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against the stone.
Jesus answered him.
It is also written.
Do 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 splendor.
All this will I give you, he said.
If you will bow down and worship me, Jesus said to him away from me, Satan, for it is written, worship the Lord your God.
And serve him only.
Then the devil left him and angels came and attended him.
So we’re talking about the temptations that Christ went through, and he went through a lot.
I think it’s best to to understand temptation kind of from this mindset that Oscar Wilde, if you’ve ever read any of his stuff, he said he had a very effective way of getting rid of temptation and that was to give in to it.
Your temptations grow when you deny.
In them they don’t decrease.
So I believe that most likely Jesus was not only tempted like us, he was probably tempted much worse than any of us had ever experienced because of the fact he never gave in to them.
There are temptations I have most of you don’t know this.
Some of you do.
I have very little self-control when it comes to orange juice. Now you may be saying oh, that’s not that big a deal like.
I have very little self-control when it comes to orange juice. I have been. There’s a place in Madison called the Upper House where they do lectures every now and then.
It’s a wonderful place.
I go there every so often, and if any of you remember Connor Hanson, he and I went there one time and they offer free orange juice.
And at the end of it, he was he was like Robert, I just did not believe that anybody could drink that much orange. I just don’t have any self-control there.
At least according to the the Orthodox Christian belief, which is what I hold.
Was tempted and never gave in.
So this was not just like three time temptation and that’s it.
It’s probably all of his life and it gets worse and worse and worse.
Lent typically begins.
With two readings in the church and I find this interesting, it usually begins with the story of humanity’s sin.
Which is what?
Gamely read for us.
And then it usually also involves the reading of the temptation of Jesus.
It’s it’s so interesting to me because these temptations, well, there’s some very specific things that are involved in it.
The the first of the temptations that Jesus goes through deals with his appetite, not just physical.
We are all tempted with our appetites.
We all have things that we just have these cravings for.
Sometimes their needs, sometimes their wants.
But we see them and it just draws us.
Could be food, could be consumption on other levels.
There may be advertisements that you know if you see that advertisement, you’re immediately going to start thinking, oh, I want that like to be honest right now, what’s going through my head is I’m making popcorn when I get home tonight.
Because somebody made popcorn and did not offer me any.
And she’s acting all nice and sweet.
But you notice she’s still not offering me any.
You laugh, but there’s truth.
I mean, I’m making a joke there, but the reality is we have things that just get.
Us and you?
They just get in your crawl.
Jesus is tempted by an appetite, and that appetite is a God-given appetite. We were designed to receive nourishment from food and to enjoy the process, to enjoy the eating, and to enjoy who we eat with.
Many of you enjoy the process of cooking the food you just get into it.
It’s a part of the nourishment that happens.
Those appetites are God-given they are holy, and they are wonderful. And yet Jesus, for this point needed to deny it, and it became a temptation.
The first scripture we read.
The temptation there is also about appetites.
That food looks good.
That fruit looks good.
He’s also tempted on identification.
If you are the son of God.
Now sometimes we use the word if as incense, but other times we use it to question and you’re like, what do you mean by sense?
Well, like you have probably said to somebody, hey, if you’re my friend, you’ll go do this knowing that what you’re saying is, hey, would you bring me?
A cup of coffee when you come back.
You may have done it with people you love.
If you love me, you’ll.
Do this and.
You’re just joking about it.
What you mean is because you value me.
You’re going to do this, and I know it.
But then there are other times where we say if and we mean if in the sense of like, maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not.
Satanist is using that that question of do you really believe you are the son of God?
If you are the son of.
God, you can throw.
And then the last one is that he uses glory, who will receive the worship here.
Who will be the one declared worthy now? The reason I bring this up is so often we hear things like this and it it becomes about self-discipline.
We are all quite good at this and I say we here because tapestry church, you are a bunch of very successful people.
You may not feel that way, but think about the people that are in this room.
Think about the people that you know are watching this video.
You are very successful people.
It it amazes me it actually amazes some of my friends when I talk about the number of people that we have that will get up here and lead music on any given Sunday.
Air can be used you for just a second.
You’ve told me about your your parents church before.
They’ve led music for a long time, or church is significantly bigger than us.
Do they have as many people leading worship as we do?
It would be.
For someone else to lead.
And I’m sorry, I kind of did that without your permission.
But I I didn’t think you might.
Whereas we have so many people that that want to do this and have the ability to do this, that we literally just have a.
List that we rotate.
If you notice, we don’t really ever have the.
Same person up here anymore.
I’m not trying to brag on.
You were just a group of hugely successful people and the danger with that is is it begins to make you think I have to be able to.
Do this on my own.
Because it’s worked out for you in some ways, self-discipline is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing.
Think of the hobbies you have. Think of the professional things you have. Think of the parenting things you have that involve self-discipline. That’s not bad. It works out.
It’s just bad when it’s what’s ultimately your meaning.
I don’t know about you.
But as a parent.
Raising my kids, I could do everything right and everything could still.
Fall to pot.
I think I just created a saying there.
I don’t think that’s actually a saying, is it?
Falls apart, fall.
Go to pot.
There we go.
I mixed my metaphor.
Guys that self-discipline is not a bad thing until.
It’s like it’s.
Entirely dependent upon you and the reason I bring this up is what happens is we so often read the stories of the.
Temptation and go ohh.
This is a way for me to avoid temptation if I just know the right scripture, I can take care of this if I just have the right saying if I just.
Do the right thing or say the right prayer.
It will take care of everything.
And yet, the beginning story of Christianity that Kaylee read for us is that humanity had everything going for it.
And we couldn’t say no.
I mean literally, Satan’s temptation is did God say you can’t eat from any fruit of the tree, which is a lie?
It’s like literally you can eat everything except for this wine.
Do you eat this wine?
You’re going to die.
Eat everything else.
I like to think there was like a rib eye.
Fruit tree there.
OK, I could just eat this and be satisfied and thrilled.
I don’t get it very often.
So therefore I would just be thrilled if we could just eat that all the time, God says.
Everything eat it.
They had one thing to say no to.
And could they say no?
And I think when we’re honest for ourselves, we’re the same way we can be so self disciplined, we can work out so many strategies to take care of so many different things and we are just like Adam and Eve.
Our self-discipline is so good until it fails and the worst thing is is that the tempter says to us again and again, if you just work harder, if you just try harder, you’ll get it right.
Oh, you didn’t get it right.
You’re a bad person.
That’s why we come on Lent and we remember.
We remember that we are dust.
It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person at all.
You are created in the image of God and more importantly, you are loved by God.
Even now, after we have blemished that image.
It’s not just something that was done then think of the things that we have done.
Think of the things that you have done that were selfish, the things that you have done that have hurt others that you loved, the choices that you have made, all of us.
In the room.
We were created to look like Jesus.
And so often instead, we live like the tempter.
So we come here to say remember you are dust, but not for some reason that would would be you’re a bad person not to say.
Therefore you’re unworthy.
When we come here, we want to declare the worth of Jesus and we declare the worth of Jesus best by how he grabs sinners like us and proclaims us to be Saints.
And there’s a.
So often we think sainthood is something that is earned by righteous acts.
And yet what Jesus does instead is he.
Oh, oh, yeah, you’re falling, just like your father and your mother beforehand.
But I will declare you righteous.
If you remember the words that Joanna read so effectively and Eric did an OK job of following after.
I so wish Jan had been here. I’m I’m missing her right now. She’ll be back eventually. But if Jan was here, we all know what would have happened when Joanna finished reading. She would have applauded it right then. And I was like somebody’s gotta applaud.
That whole passage from Paul is is where he is saying.
You’re just like your father, Adam.
You’re just like your mother, Eve.
But Jesus has now declared you righteous.
Here’s the end of that passage.
Simply, just as one trespass, trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification in life for all people.
Just as through the disobedience of one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
You can’t do it.
Done for you.
See the passage is the scripture we’ve been reading today are about the fact that we gave in to the temptation from a tempter.
And Jesus has started the process of defeating that temperature.
Now wilderness in Scripture is very important.
It’s often referred to as desert.
We think of desert as in sand.
That is true in many of the cases here, but it’s more wilderness wilderness in the sense of there may be trees and such there, but it’s a lonely place separated from others.
The passage that Kaylee read today.
Starts with us in the garden.
Surrounded with all God’s goodness, and we choose evil and we are chased out into the wilderness.
If you read the passage, it’s for our own protection.
The passage that I read today.
Is the son of God surrounded by goodness going out into the wilderness?
To defeat the tempter.
To begin the process of bringing us back into the presence of God.
That’s why we remember we are dust, not so that we leave this place sad and guilt ridden, but so that we are ready to accept his grace and say I can’t earn it.
I need someone else to defeat the tempter in my life. I need someone else to defeat my selfishness. I need someone else to defeat my hurtful actions. I need someone else to come and declare me righteous because my self-discipline will never do it.
And it doesn’t mean we don’t try.
We try really hard.
It means we’re not dependent on our trying for our victory.
He is the one who will crush the Serpent’s head.
He is the one who will say to the tempter, and I call him the tempter, because that’s what he does.
Again and again, he proclaims that you are unworthy, that I am unworthy.
That’s what hospital means.
He is the adversary.
He is the accuser.
Satan literally means the one who accuses.
Who says you tried really hard and you failed?
That means you’re a failure.
Rather than the the wine.
Who crushes the Serpent’s head and says?
I call you friends.
So on Lent we come to remember.
Not that our self-discipline is worthless, it’s just not good enough.
And the joy is we don’t have to be good enough because we have been declared good enough by the one who has the right to do that.
That’s what Joanna and Eric read.
We’ve been brought back in to the place of God from the wilderness.
So while my stomach growls, I don’t know if you.
Can hear that or.
Not before I end.
Does anybody have anything to add?
Go for it clients.
This part like him going away, he.
Come to me, enlightened and.
Then come to that.
Is there similarities?
All right, that’s interesting.
So if you heard, Clancy said, sometimes I think of it with the story of Buddha, where Buddha goes out into the into the wilderness and becomes enlightened, and then comes back.
There’s a difference.
I can’t go back to my scripture.
This happens after the declaration of who he is.
So if you read the passage before this, if you notice the scripture I read, it says immediately after.
So does anybody know what happens right before the the temptations?
Jesus’s baptism, which you could declare almost like a coronation because what happens is he is anointed and the father says this is my son in whom I am well pleased. Buddha goes out and earns this enlightenment through right actions Jesus is declared.
You’re my son.
So I think the biggest difference is that Jesus going out in the wilderness was not a I’m going to learn this.
It was this is who I am now.
I start the process of bringing those in the wilderness back in.
I would describe that as the biggest difference.
Now there’s big differences between Buddhism and Christianity.
Also, Buddhism at its core is ultimately.
Suffering comes out of desire, therefore you get rid of desire. Christianity is in many ways the opposite is going back to appetites. Your appetites are God-given.
Your appetites are God glorifying in that sense, one of the best things we can do is to use our appetites to glorify God, IE we literally eat as a symbol of remembrance of Jesus.
We taste in.
In our case, the Welches grape juice.
We don’t deny ourselves the welches.
We taste the welches and it reminds us there’s there’s good in Buddhism.
I’m just saying there’s big differences there.
There’s good all around us because of the fact that God is the creator here.
Anything that’s true belongs to him, regardless of where it comes from.
But there’s also difference.
I believe Jesus is the ultimate way.
Anybody else before I close this down.
OK, I’m going to take that as a no.
So here’s what I I hope you get out of this.
A few things.
It has some advantages.
Don’t hear me say it’s wrong.
OK, I know.
I’m talking to a group of people that have a lot of discipline.
I know that.
I’m not saying don’t.
Use it at all.
I like the word the phrase best practices.
Best practices mean this is usually helpful.
But it’s not always helpful.
See, Legalism is if you do this, this, and this.
That’s going to happen.
It’s a guarantee.
Well, Kaylee, in your work, you can tell people some really good things that will probably help.
Have you ever told people some good things that would probably help?
And it didn’t help at all.
Yeah, because sometimes I think of it like gardening.
You can do everything right or in my case you can do everything wrong.
And stuff grows.
And and those of you who are gardeners, I’m going to look at Ellen right now.
You can do everything right and then suddenly it’s like the seeds go.
Nah, not going to grow.
I didn’t even I didn’t.
Think of that.
Difference between a farmer and and a non farmer I’m.
Like nature’s good. And you’re like, no, it’s.
Not ice comes from the sky.
Your discipline is good.
It just can’t bring you ultimate meaning.
And what I love about Lent is it’s a reminder that doesn’t have to.
At the end of the day, we are declared righteous.
You’re good enough.
So when you fail and you will fail.
Many of us will fail.
Literally the 2nd we walked out of this room.
You may have failed.
While I’m saying that I think my Southern accent is coming out as I say, the word fail.
When you fail.
Much like an addict.
You have the choice of do I turn back to Jesus?
Do I get up again or do I stay down?
The tempter is wanting you to go.
You’re just a terrible person.
Jesus is saying, come on.
And he grabs us by the hand and lifts us up out of the water.
So this week, remember you are dust.
But remember that the creator of the universe creates and breathes life into figures made of dust.
Would you join with me in closing and singing or closing prayer, which we have already sung?
And I’m excited about that.
00:22:58 Speaker 2
Praise God from whom all things flow.
00:23:07 Speaker 2
00:23:08 Speaker 2
All creatures here be low praise.
00:23:19 Speaker 2
Ye Heavenly go first, praise for Father, son and holy goes.
If you are our guest today, there are guest cards in the back.
If you fill it out, I will bribe you with a with a meal or with a cup of coffee just to say thank you for being here today.
Because we really do appreciate it.
God’s grace is all around us.
It is given to you.
But it’s hard for us to receive it when we’re too busy going.
Just work harder.
It’s meant for people that are made of dust.
Have a great week.
Thank you for joining us on video.