It’s so easy to believe that we can get our value from what we have. Whether it be our vehicle, our house, the clothes we wear or the phone we carry, the temptation is strong. And just when we think we are over getting our value from these places, we get something new and that temptation is there again.
We know that this is a strong temptation, because it was one of the three that Satan himself tested Jesus with. We began this Lenten journey with looking at the first of the temptations of Jesus, to get His value from what he did. Satan, I’m sure was getting a little frustrated with his failed attempts to get Jesus to buy in to his great offers. In his final attempt he took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Now that’s a temptation! All of the kingdoms of the world and their splendor I’m not quite sure what “their splendor” encompasses, but it sounds like a great offer to me. 10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[d]” (Matt 4:8-10)
Jesus response to this temptation to get his value from possessions is something we should pay attention to. Jesus likens focus on possessions to worship and service. He is showing us in his response that to get our value from our possessions is to worship them. He is also pointing out that possession focus will get in the way of our service to God. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (matt 6:21) Another great example of this is found in the interaction that Jesus has with the rich young ruler. Some say that story is to teach us all to give everything away. I don’t believe that is the point. With this man Jesus saw that he had given into to this temptation to get his value from what he had. We see this so often (and struggle with it ourselves) today. Jesus wanted so much more for this man and saw that the only hope for him was to give everything away and start anew.
Lie: We can get our value from what we have
Truth: Our true value can only come from our Father in Heaven
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; (Matt 6:20)