This sermon is based on Matthew 4:1-11.
She wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree, but she was trying to understand. She was trying to figure out who Jesus was. She knew he was born on Christmas and that he died on Good Friday and was raised on Easter Sunday. Her problem was that she forgot that there were 30 years between those first two events! But she is not alone. While none of us would ever make that chronological mistake and have a five-month old savior going to the cross, we often overlook what Jesus was doing in his life. We know why he was born (incarnation). We know why he died (atonement). We know why he rose again (exaltation). We even know why he will return (restoration). But ask someone why Jesus lived, and they may stumble to find a concise answer. For many of us, it seems like most of the gospel stories are nice, but not really necessary (Do we really need all those miracle stories? Do we really need all those healings? Don’t they all mean the same thing? Let’s face it, as soon as Jesus walked on water, I was convinced he was God. Weren’t you?). Let’s be honest, while we would never voice it in the way my friend did, we would be happy with a Jesus who simply was born for us, died for us and rose again for us. But in the gospels, we encounter the story of Jesus. It is the story of how the God of Israel reclaimed his world and became its king. And it is the story of how he calls us to participate now in his forever kingdom. This is the story of Jesus, and this is a story we do not want to miss.