This week’s sermon is on the fall of humanity and the essence of sin. Genesis 3 establishes the problem that the rest of the Bible tries to resolve. Like so many other key passages, the account of sin entering the world is layered and has an impact of other key passages. The fall of humanity and the temptation of Christ are connected in this way. There are some really interesting intersections and contrasts. In both cases geography is important, as is the motif of eating, the power of the devil, the role of animals, and the importance of obedience.
The comparison and contrast in the temptation of Adam and Jesus begins with geography. One is in an idyllic garden, the other in the desert. One was in no need for food the other was very hungry. In one case the devil was covert in the other situation he was overt. In one case the relationship with creation was rend, in the other situation there was reconciliation. In one case there was surrender to temptation, in the other situation there was surrender to God. One person rebelled, one person obeyed.*
One of the most interesting things that happened with Adam was that he started to play the blame game. It was Eve’s fault for giving him the apple; it was God’s fault for giving him Eve. Flip Wilson always wanted to blame the devil. Dana Carvey’s church lady saw Satan as the person to blame for everything. John MacArthur referred to this as the sovereignty of the devil. It must be pointed out that just like everything else that was created Satan is under the authority of God. Satan can tempt but he can’t compel.
We live in a day and age where nothing is “my” fault. There is always some justification for why actions rendered or statements made. No one is ever to blame. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe if we owned up to what we’ve done, apologize and seek forgiveness there might be more healing and peace in the world. It’s been said that the reason why there is so much grief in the world is because people come to the table willing to forgive but not to be forgiven. The devil is real. Temptation is real. But sometimes there’s a place to take some personal responsibility and do the right thing. But then again, that’s only my opinion.
P.S. Thanks to Dr. Syd Page for connecting me with the article, “Jesus, the Unique Son of God: Tested and Faithful,” by Don B. Garlington.* I was also privileged to take a course with Dr. Page called Biblical Demonology where the theology of Hollywood was corrected and truth disseminated. Dr. Page is a gifted scholar and faithful example of what it is to be a Christian.