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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: September 26, 2023


In Luther’s explanation of the First Commandment, he tells us that “you shall have no other gods” means “we should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”And in the temptation of our Lord, we see what it looks like to keep that commandment perfectly.


Satan tempts Jesus to fear starvation more than He fears His Father, tempts Him to use His divine power to perform a miracle that will not glorify His Father, but that will accuse His Father–accuse Him of abandoning His Son. By calling Jesus to turn stones into loaves of bread, Satan is essentially saying, “eating earthy bread is greater than being the bread of life.” But Jesus refuses because He knows that eternal condemnation is worse than earthly starvation and eternal life is greater than than a fully stomach. Despite Satan’s temptation, Jesus fears God above all things.


In the third temptation, Satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. He offers Jesus what He’s come to usher in–world peace, all the kingdoms of the world and their glory united under the reign of Christ the King. In this temptation, he’s essentially saying to Jesus, “the kingdom your Father has told you to win through a brutal crucifixion, I’ll give it to you right now if you don’t go to the cross. Love the glory of this world more than you love the Father who’s sent you to bleed and die.” But Jesus refuses because He loves the Father who has called Him to establish an eternal kingdom through the cross and He loves that Father more than He loves the temporal glory of this world. Jesus loves His Father above all things.


Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and tempts Him to cast himself down. In all of this, he’s saying, “don’t be content with these worthless promises your Father made to you in His word, the promises about preserving you. Make Him prove it. Trust your senses as they feel the hands of the angels clasp onto your flesh and prevent you from turning into a pile of goo on the ground.” But Jesus refuses because He trusts the Father who has spoken to Him through His word more than He trusts His human sight and smell and taste and touch. Jesus trust His Father above all things.


And because of this, then we who shattered this first commandment can live forever. When Satan came to us with these temptations throughout our lives, we immediately surrendered to them, making ourselves unworthy to live forever. But Christ who is worthy gave us His worthiness. Jesus Christ kept this commandment perfectly and, at Calvary, gave us His perfect obedience to this commandment, credited to us so that when we stand before God in judgment on the Last Day, His Father and our Father will declare to us, “well done good and faithful servant.”


Jesus Christ, the Son of God, perfectly feared, loved, and trusted in His Father above all things, which made Him worthy to be our Messiah, worthy to take away our sins, and give us eternal life. And now He has. This is most certainly true.


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