Luke 4: 1-8
"Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the desert, where he was tempted by the Devil for forty days. In all that time he ate nothing, so that he was hungry when it was over. The Devil said to him, "If you are God's Son, order this stone to turn into bread." But Jesus answered, "The scripture says, 'Human beings cannot live on bread alone.' "
Then the Devil took him up and showed him in a second all the kingdoms of the world. "I will give you all this power and all this wealth," the Devil told him. "It has all been handed over to me, and I can give it to anyone I choose. All this will be yours, then, if you worship me."
Jesus answered, "The scripture says, 'Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!' "
The Devil's second tempting offer was power and wealth. Sounds pretty good, right? We could all use some power and wealth attainment, especially after we graduate and start having to pay off loans. Jesus didn't have student loans or parents just waiting to have him move out of the house, but he did live in poverty all his life withour any kind of power over anyone. Except maybe Mary. He had every reason to jump at the chance the Devil presented to him.
But he didn't. "Worship the Lord your God and serve only him." It is not that power and wealth are inherently bad, but the deal the Devil gave Jesus was to turn his back on the Father. And Jesus' response says clearly that nothing is worth turning your back on the Father.
In case you missed it, Father Paul's phrase of the weekend was 'indeterminate gray.' He spoke about our wishy-washy society where everything is okay and compromise is the name of the game, and there's always an explanation for something. But he strongly disagreed. He said we have to stop living in indeterminate gray. He said we need to realize that right and wrong are definite, and we should see the world in black and white. Wrong is wrong is wrong.
While power and glory and wealth sound great in our heads, is it righ or wrong to attain it by living by the world's standards. But power and wealth are good things! You need them to have successful life, to raise a family, to live a comfortable life style, to keep up with our fast-paced, technology-run world, right?
Father Paul echoed Jesus this weekend when he told us 'no'. Anything that is living by the world and compromising with the Devil is wrong because it's turning your back on God. If that scares you because you think the only way you can gain any comfort or peace or financial stability is by playing by the world's rules, you're also wrong. As we discussed yesterday, God knows your needs and he'll provide them for you. He has a plan for you a millions times better than the Devil's pitiful offer.
"Worship the Lord your God and serve only him."