Blind spots make us vulnerable. Cars come with cameras now to show what’s behind you and mirrors have been enlarged to show what’s on your side. Cameras and mirrors are there to provide sight to blind spots in order to avoid accidents.
Unless we see the world through the three dimensional worldview of Christ, we have blind spots that make us vulnerable to temptation. It was in the wilderness where Satan tempted Christ, and it’s in the wilderness of temptation where Satan will take advantage of our blind spots.
Satan tempted Jesus three times and each one of these corresponds to a dimension of the worldview of Christ. The upward dimension was first. After fasting for forty days, Satan said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3). It doesn’t sound like much of a temptation. It’s not as though Satan said, “Rob this bank.” The temptation was subtle. It was a temptation to break dependence upon God.
The Son of God was sent into the world by the Father and led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Up to this point, His life was one of dependence. By dependence, I mean lived in connection with God through the power of the Spirit. Now, Satan tempted Him to take matters into His own hands. If Jesus had turned that stone into bread, He would have used His divine power for self-gratification.
It would have been no different than Adam partaking of the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and evil. Adam may have eaten a good apple and not a bad apple. The temptation of the tree was life lived apart from God. Satan used the same temptation when he tempted Christ to turn stones into bread. It would have broken the connection between Father and Son.
What worked on the first Adam didn’t work on the Second Adam. It didn’t work because Christ clearly saw the upward connection. He replied to Satan’s temptation, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
It’s in the moment of temptation when you want something legitimate that God hasn’t given to you that you discover your upward dimension. Are you clear about whose’ in charge of your life? Do you see that you were created by God and that the Spirit leads your life? Or do you take matters into your own hands and then ask God to bless you.
We need to see God as Christ saw Him or else that blind spot will make us vulnerable to live independent of God. We also need see ourselves as Christ saw Himself. This is the inward dimension and the second temptation of Christ was addressed to the inward dimension of self.
To be continued…
Dr. Michael Peters is the lead pastor of Christ the King: TheCellChurch.com. He is married to Linda, and they have two children and seven grandchildren. Dr. Peters graduated from Covenant Seminary with an MA and obtained a PhD in historical theology from Saint Louis University. He has written several books. His most recent is titled Cell Vision. It’s about organic discipleship and how to develop supporters into disciple makers. He taught critical thinking and Biblical worldview at Missouri Baptist University. His favorite course textbook was Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. His favorite philosopher is Nietzsche because postmodern people are just catching up with premodern Nietzsche. And his favorite Christian writer is G.K. Chesterton because he understood the difference between a poet and theologian. “The poet,” he wrote, “only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the theologian who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”