In the the Temptation account from Luke’s Gospel (Luke 4:1-13) , Jesus offers a powerful lesson about tempting God:

[9] And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here;  [10] for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’ [11] and `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” [12] And Jesus answered him, “It is said, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

This lesson from Christ is as relevant today as it was when Jesus first uttered these words.  Consider:

  • The devil is daring Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple.
  • Though Jesus could very well rely on angels, or perhaps perform a miracle of levitation (He does Ascend to Heaven, after all), Jesus rebukes Satan, telling the devil “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”
  • While we can’t know for sure, we might suppose that the Son of Man, being fully human, might have enjoyed the adrenaline rush of hopping off the pinnacle; but He does not.
  • Today, there is a whole culture that has built up around “XXtreme Sports”; thrill seekers of all kinds, seek to get the thrill of tempting death: sky diving, car racing, extreme skiing, bungee jumping; the list of silly ways to dare the devil goes on and on.
  • Many have an adrenaline addiction.  But worse: they have an addiction to daring the devil, and they just don’t know it.
  • Each man has been given a precious gift of life, a life that is not earned and is not theirs to throw away (Thou shall not kill – Exodus 20:13).  Those who recklessly dare the devil are only doing so because they are facing the very real potential of killing themselves.
  • While Jesus Himself teaches us to offer ourselves out of love in times of danger or threat to lay down our life for a brother (John 15:13), we are not to be reckless.  We are not to tempt God.

The foolish think of themselves as “dare devils”; but is Satan doing the tempting, whispering with evil breath in the ear of the would-be daredevil, “Throw yourself off the top of this building…you won’t be hurt.”  In response, Jesus says, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”

Who are you going to believe, Satan or Jesus.  It’s your choice.