Monthly Archives: January 2009

Jesus was tempted

Matthew 4:1-11 is a fascinating account of three huge temptations Jesus faced during his time in the desert before he began his ministry. It’s often brushed off by remarks such as “Jesus was tempted just like us, so he can sympathise with what you are struggling with right now”, but I am convinced that there is so much more in these verses.

First of all, this happens before Jesus begins his ministry, he is baptised and the Father declares him to be the Son, then Matthew 4:1 says

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Clearly this is a hugely significant moment in Jesus’ life, and having read through these verses I believe that the three temptations that follow are designed as preparation for the rest of Jesus’ ministry, including his death. These are three temptations which although they may not be clearly expressed in the remainder of the gospels must surely have reappeared time and time again, and Jesus must have battled with them each time. It must have been a great strength to him to be able to look back on his desert trial and remember how he dealt with the temptations then, holding those scriptures close to his heart.

I will look at each of the three temptations in a little more detail in future posts, including hopefully pointing out where else in the gospels those same temptations would have occurred.

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Fix your eyes on Jesus

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9

Here lies the solution to all of your problems. Stop looking at the problem! Fix your eyes on the one person who embodies all of those aspects Paul has listed, the one person whose example cannot be faulted.

This week is very exciting for me, term has not started yet so I have a week without students in which I am supposed to spend about 40 hours studying. During that time I will be looking at Philippians, and working my way through Tim Chesters book You Can Change. I’m not sure how I’m going to properly take in 40 hours of study on such important stuff, and I suspect I will end up with a pile of notes to go back to in the future (I’ve already got quite a few and I’ve only done some preliminary stuff today).

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I don’t get cold

Now I’m not saying this is definitely the reason I’m never cold…

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Mathematical Music

Because these songs make me smile.

The Mandlebrot Set
Finite Simple Group (of order two)

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