Evil Priority

Luke 4:3 (NLT)

Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.”

Satan advanced an evil priority in telling Christ to make bread out of stones.

This evil priority can be stated in many different ways. We list ten ways it can be stated.

First, the priority of our will over God’s will. It was not God’s will to make bread out of stones here. Christ came to do the will of God, not His own will.

Second, the priority of body over soul. This temptation made the physical need (bread) more important that the spiritual need (obeying God). It is like the social Gospel. It puts more emphasis on feeding the stomach than saving the soul.

Third, the priority of reputation over character. In tempting Christ, Satan emphasized the Son of God’s identity. Doing this miracle would enhance His reputation as the Son of God. But Christ was more interested in character than reputation.

Fourth, the priority of privilege over responsibility. Christ had many privileges including miracle power. But Christ emphasized His responsibilities more than His privileges.

Fifth, the priority of circumstances over commands. Christ had some dire circumstances. But the commands of God, not circumstances, guided His conduct.

Sixth, the priority of pleasure over purity. Bread would give him physical pleasure. But it would defile Him because here bread would come through evil means.

Seventh, the priority of self over others. Had Christ done what the devil advocated, He would have sinned and thus ended the redemption plan to save others.

Eighth, the priority of temporal over eternal. Satan said to take care of the temporal need of bread and ignore eternal consequences for disobedience.

Ninth, the priority of sight over faith. Satan tempted Christ to live by sight—the bread you can see, and not by faith—trusting God to supply bread you cannot see.

Tenth, the priority of the false over the genuine. Satan tempted Christ to have a great achievement, but it would have been a false success, not a real success.

 

John G Butler, Daily Bible Reading: Sermonettes #1.

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