The Temptations of Christ

The most common Biblical command is “do not be afraid”. Search your Bible and you will find it repeated dozens of times. It began when God told Abraham, the first man of faith, not to be afraid (Genesis 15:1). And actually, the command could be translated, “stop being afraid!” In other words, Abraham was told to stop fearing as a way of life.

And that is the issue, isn’t it. The lingering fears, the constant low-level dread. While momentary fears can come and go, if there is something we are all too familiar with, it’s the anxious life as a way of being. Anxiety is a kind of low-grade fear, the constant gnawing of uncertainty, the constant dread that doesn’t go away. Anxiety can stay with us.

Jesus had something to say about this very practical area of our existence, painting a picture about how anxiety happens, and how the un-anxious life is actually possible. In his famous temptations Jesus faces head-on three of our most powerful latent anxieties: security, esteem, and control. Let’s face them as well.