The devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Sometimes the devil’s temptations are tricky. You think about something that is probably wrong, but you can come up with some pretty good reasons for doing it. Sometimes you even think that you’ll just try it, and if it goes wrong, that will be God’s signal that it was wrong all along, but if nothing bad happens, well then, it must actually be okay.
Jesus cuts through that maze of the devil’s temptations and says simply, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Yes, God says he will take care of us. But by telling us that, he does not invite us to be careless or to do what we know is wrong. He asks us to trust him, not test him.
You can trust God to have his holy angels guard you every step of your life, all the way to heaven. When you suffer on the way to heaven, you can trust God not to leave you comfortless. When you are tempted, you can trust God to provide a way out of the temptation. When you sin, you can trust God to forgive you, because Jesus took the punishment for your sin when he died on the cross.
When you are tempted to test God, trust him instead.
Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 446:1)
I am trusting you, Lord Jesus, trusting only you,
Trusting you for full salvation, free and true. Amen.
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