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How would you like to be part of a higher caliber of people who improve upon good things?

Consider: when somebody was “cared” for, was the goal actually accomplished? Did the person receive care in a way that went beyond the shallow objective of an immediate feel good high? If so, was the care delivered in a way that was so skilled that all the possible good was meted out, to the very last drop? On another token completely, did an immediate negative or harsh consequence stultify the caring party’s willingness to do what was right for the party being cared for? Did The Messiah ever deal with such a thing in His life? This article aims to explore The Messiah’s laudable behavior, if ever He was in such a circumstance: needing to navigate handling well-intentioned, but misguided care.

It was a bright day. The sun was glinting off of the sand and stones more harshly then it generally did. Under the cool, dry shade of a rough old tree sat Yeshua. He was well rested after leaving His home in the region of Naphtali by the Mediterranean Sea. The young, but seasoned Rabbi found comfort in the booming voice that came from the Jordan River. He could not understand what was being said. Thankfully the breeze’s direction was just right to barely carry that wonderful sound to His accepting ears. The excitement and healing that voice carried with it was miraculous. Leaving one body of water only to come to another Yeshua thought, feeling confident in His recent decision to have ignored the worry that rapped continuously at the door of His mind since the day He stepped out in faith, leaving His home, His security, His comforts with nothing more than the clothes on His back and the symbolic shepherd’s rod in His hand. Only this body of water sustains a man who is on My team, is part of My family, has lain down His life to do Our Father’s work.

Yeshua sat under that tree in the distance thinking, praying, meditating alone. It was one of the last times He would find Himself in the comforts of solitude: He felt this in His Spirit and soaked it up before finding solid ground under His feet, walking towards that gregarious voice, one glorious step at a time, with the rest of His brother and sister Israelites. Yeshua was going to get baptized by John The Baptist, who came in the spirit of Elijah to restore all things. Yeshua could feel the electricity running through His body. The event would not disappoint Him.

All good things must come to an end, though. This rang true for Yeshua. It rings true for us. It rang true for our Patriarch’s. Do not forget, my friend, that “all bad things come to an end” rings truer than the latter. Proximate to His baptism Yeshua was to go into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Before the temptation, Yeshua had to come to the end of His flesh’s ability, He had to come to a new beginning for His Spirit’s connection with The Ruach HaKodesh (רוח הקודש: The Holy Spirit), and come to a maturing of the connection and ability to sustain life in that atmosphere. He fasted all earthly sustenance for 40 days and nights. Only at the end of this season was Satan allowed to come and tempt The Father’s Son.

To digress slightly, but with purpose: Yeshua was ministered to by angels when the temptations laid out before Him tested Him, before He began the full time earthly ministry that we read of in the Gospel narratives. He was not left wounded and tired, but was cared for when the light at the end of the tunnel had finally approached.

Satan tempted Yeshua with three things. Each of these things had roots in Yeshua’s needs and ambitions. The temptations were calculated and well thought out while further, they were interspersed with Scripture to back up the temptation’s validity. First, Satan tempted Yeshua with bread: “Turn these stones into bread” (paraphrase Matthew 4:3). Yeshua had set a goal for Himself that He would have failed at if He had given into that temptation. Next, Satan tempted Him with love and care:

“Then, the Devil took Him up into the Holy City, set Him on the pinnacle of the Temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over You,’ and,

‘In their hands they shall bear You up,
Lest you dash Your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:5)

Yeshua’s answer is jam packed: it reveals, to the astute, what was driving Satan’s words as well as revealing one of Yeshua’s deepest desires. The question is, Father, do You love Me? Are You watching over Me, ready at any time to send somebody to help Me and save Me when I am in need? The answer to this question, for the faithful is, Yes. However, we know that testing the Father’s love like that is not the way to find the answer: that would be a gross display of rebellion to His authority; a lack of trust in His ability to produce naturally, a circumstance that would satiate this same appropriate and pure desire. Yeshua’s answer was not, again, “You shall not test יהוה your Elohim”, But it was “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Matthew 4:7 emphasis added). Now, although “tempt” and “test” are spelled very similarly and are indeed somewhat similar, they are not the same. The aforementioned command from the enemy, if carried out by Yeshua, would have been to test The Father we know, but how was it a temptation? That question is left for you to ponder with our Father while you are in need of a positive thing to think on. Again, we digress.

The third temptation aimed at Yeshua’s overall mission: to reveal Himself as Ruler, Lord, Elohim of the world. Taking His Saints home and leaving the chaff and tares behind to burn, ensuring that they do not do what they do best: adulterate, defile, steal, destroy, and kill. Heaven has no place for such things, and evil will never allow itself to be contained to it’s own borders if left unchecked long enough. Thus Yeshua’s mission.

Satan attempted to “help” this mission by offering all the kingdoms of the world to Yeshua, showing them to Him from the lofty heights of an exceedingly high mountain, if only He would bow down and worship the enemy. This effectively was the easy route towards a difficult goal. Yeshua would have none of it. This temptation, Yeshua would see again.

The storm had been approaching His whole life. Since He could remember it had always been there in all it’s subtle splendor, taking up residence in the back of His mind. I am coming for You Yeshua it whispered maniacally in it’s masculine attempt at a female voice. Now though, the cool darkness of the ominous cloud’s unavoidable contretemps was within sight. The storm’s threats were heavy in the air like ointment, or a dense humidity. Yeshua had been warning His disciples of what cometh for days. They were, unfortunately, as dense as the approaching cloud who’s tendrils reached beyond it’s canopy and wrapped themselves around the people’s minds and hearts which He had been ministering to as it approached Jerusalem. Slowly, forebodingly, it made it’s way from behind the veil of the spiritual world and into the reality of the beggarly elements where He had been laying holy, good seeds into so many different types of soil. He would water those seeds with His blood, His Father lovingly warned Him one evening in prayer.

Yeshua struggled to take courage. He was selfless. His disciples had no clue. He had told them of what was coming. They were selfish. Even their selfless acts came from a place that was self serving. He loved them and labored for them all the same, with joy and integrity. One day Yeshua, obedient to His Father, put a great deal of focus and time into showing His disciples that He would be executed and rise on the third day (paraphrase of Matthew 16:21). When the fog had lifted and the shock wore off, Peter took Yeshua aside, telling Him “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You” (Matthew 16:22). This, I present to you, my friend, reminded Yeshua of the end of His time in the desert, when Satan tempted Him to take the easy road. He was being tempted again.

He must surely have had a rough time gathering the faith needed to go through with what likely felt unnatural, crazy, and wrong: taking the steps lain out in the orchestration of the events of the cross. The same as any of us would have. We have a God who can sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15 paraphrase). In just about every other circumstance, giving oneself over to such mutilation and humiliation would in fact be crazy, unnatural, and wrong. Peter was not helping. Peter had not studied Himself approved (2 Timothy 2:15 reference), did not know the Scriptures well enough, did not know the Father well enough, as hurtful as it is: Peter did not know Yeshua well enough for His attempted care of His Master to be what was needed at the time. Yeshua needed encouragement, cheerleaders, comforters, and team mates to support His going through with what He Himself was having difficulty getting a grip on. “Get behind me Satan” (Matthew 16:23) was Yeshua’s flaming arrow shot from His bow of justice towards the enemy, who long had a grip on His friends’ mind: a grip Yeshua had been pouring His life out to manumit Peter from. No fruit had come from that labor yet, but Yeshua’s faith was more than a mustard seed now. “You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but of the things of men” (Matthew 16:23), was one of the last things Yeshua said to His friend Peter before departing. Peter’s lack of support went against the grain of the task at hand and with the grain of the Devil’s desperate, dawdle and deserted offer. Let us learn these lessons well, honoring Peter’s transparency.

Did such a stinging blow hurt Peter? No, it wounded the enemy within. Peter got over it, let go of the old man, and continued in newness of life. Eventually, that old serpent’s grip on Peter’s mind and heart was loosened and the shackles and chains of dull, skill-less, selfish and surface level care were broken; rendering Peter a capable, astute, potentate of our faith whose feet were and will be firmly planted on The Rock which Yeshua’s family is built on. Peter learned, in His later years, to serve God and His fellow man well. Thanks to the work of Our Master, we can be sure of that.

By: T.Griffin ben Yeshua Messiah

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