Falling off a cliff, grabbing scree, God says let go, he says is there anyone else up there? – Trusting God is never easy, this is his third temptation
Believe what the world told him, or believe what God spoke to his heart.
Feed and nurture the presence of God, or feed and nurture his ego.
Now he wants to know if he will be safe. He’s tempted to test God.
College – getting in. Mycanos.
Gideon and the fleece, mideonites. Judges 6: 36-40.
But the temptation for Jesus is not to lay out a fleece to see if God really wants him to preach the good news, what Jesus was tempted to do was to put God’s love to the test. If I really am God’s son, then God will save me. If God really loves me, then God will save me.
But you can’t put someone’s love to the test. Love doesn’t do that. Testing someone’s love is all about your doubt, it’s not about their love.
1 Cor 13: 7&8 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Love trusts. And it’s not easy, not by a long ways. Because, if God loves us, and is trustworthy, why does it sometimes feel like God lets us down? Why does it sometimes feel like God just doesn’t care?
Terrible things happen every day. Famine, flood, disease, war, donald trump and Cambridge Analitica just to name a few. And I’ve met many people who point at those and say look – there can’t be a God.
How do we trust when we pray for someone who’s sick, but they die, or we pray for someone to be pain free, and they continue to suffer?
How do we trust when we pray for help and it seems like we’re on our own? How can we trust God when there are terrible things happen to us, and others, and it seems like God does nothing?
It’s then we need to look to Jesus.
In the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Sonny says: Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.
You remember the story of Lazarus – Jesus waiting two days. Lit time bomb. Led to Palm Sunday. ……..Jesus on the cross, hoping God will save him…….
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me. It’s a quote from Psalm 22.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in God,” they say, “let God rescue him.
Let God deliver him, since God delights in him.” ………………………
Philipians 2 : Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God.
Death is the horizen of our vision. But not for God. God sees the whole thing, eternity included.
So that paradox is that we should trust God implicitly, knowing that there will be times when it feels like God is not there. There will be times when it feels like God has abandoned us.
There will be times when we find it hard even to believe that God exists. And that’s Ok because that’s what it is what it is to be human.
The horizen of our vision is not the limit to God’s vision. The story of Jesus is that Everything will be all right in the end… and if it’s not all right, then it’s not yet the end.
In the end Jesus decides not to test God, and instead lives in love and trust. The fact that he did it gives us hope, and reminds us that we are not alone. That he loved and trusted God means that we can also love and trust God. We know what happens on Easter Sunday.
But before we can make the same decision he did we have to travel with Jesus through Easter week. Today the crowds welcome Jesus into Jerusalem with palm branches in their hands. Tomorrow he’s in the temple turning over the tables of the money changers.
In fact the next time we’ll meet him is at the last Supper, and I’m looking forward to sharing that with you on Thursday. Amen.