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Mar 2, 2021

Battling Temptation

Dr. Edward Sri

What should we do when we are tempted by the devil? Dr. Sri reminds us of the reality of the devil’s temptations in our lives and walks us through Christ’s response to the devil’s attacks during his passion. Learning from Jesus’ example and words, we come away with three practical ways to resist the devil’s temptations. 



Snippet from the Show

“When we call upon the Holy name of Jesus, the demons around us fall to the ground.”




Shownotes



The Passion of Christ: The Cosmic Battle between Good and Evil 

Jesus’ agony in the garden scene in the film The Passion of Christ gives us a powerful insight into the reality of the devil and his tactics. Battling the devil’s temptations is something we must learn to do as we follow Christ. Although we cannot avoid being tempted by the enemy in this fallen world, with the grace of God we can learn to resist the enemy’s snares and avoid falling into sin. In order to understand how to resist the devil’s temptation, we must first look at Christ’s example and words in the Gospel. 



 “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”– Luke 4:13

“Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.”– Luke 22:3-4

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,  but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”  And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.”– Luke 22: 31-34



We know that Jesus’ severe and fierce enemy is ultimately the devil. Jesus’ ministry on earth constantly fought the kingdom of darkness. Throughout the Gospel, we see Jesus forgiving sins, healing the sick, raising the dead, and performing exorcisms. It’s important to note that Jesus was aware of the devil’s attacks and always remained completely in control. Even during his passion, Jesus was not powerless over the devil. Jesus knew he had to face the devil to free humanity from his snares. He allows himself to endure the attacks of the enemy in obedience to the Father. 



 “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”– John 10: 17-18



During his passion, Jesus was completely aware of the devil’s attacks that were about to unravel. We notice that Jesus is not taken by surprise when the soldiers come to arrest him. Instead, Jesus powerfully confirms that he is the one he is looking for:



Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. – John 18: 4-6



It is significant that Jesus says “I am he” because it’s a reference to God’s Holy name revealed to Moses at the burning bush- “I AM” ( Exodus 3:14). We also see that the soldiers immediately fall to the ground when he says “I am he”, which highlights the power in the Holy name of Jesus. 



Practical Tips

When you face temptation:

  1. Call on the name of Jesus in your heart or out loud.

    The Holy name of Jesus is powerful because he is God. When we call upon the Holy name of Jesus, the demons around us fall to the ground.

    Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11

  1. Be Vigilant

    The devil is constantly trying to tempt us. Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray as he began his passion. He wanted them to be on guard and alert. It’s important for us to be constantly spiritually alert and ready to resist the devil’s temptations. We cannot become ambivalent about the reality of spiritual warfare. When we fulfill our obligations to God, our family, and our work, we give less of an opportunity for the devil to enter. By remaining faithful to God and constantly striving for virtue, we can prevent the devil from subtly attacking us.

    “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Mark 14:38

    “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.”– 1 Peter 5:8


  2. Pray

    Humbly pray and ask God for the grace to not give in to your weaknesses. Ask him that you may not be tempted beyond your strength. Don’t be afraid to be honest with God about your weaknesses and allow him to help you.






No Greater Love LIVE with Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Edward Sri will be leading a virtual study of No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion Bible every Wednesday starting February 24, 2021!

The LIVE sessions will take place every Wednesday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time for 6 weeks.

Each LIVE lesson will be free on Facebook, but they will be based upon the associated study videos, so it is highly recommended to watch the study videos before each livestream! You can access the study videos by purchasing the study set or online only access. Click here to learn more!



Resources




Meet Your Host: Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Sri is a theologian and the author of several best-selling books. He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. A founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Dr. Sri currently serves as its vice president of formation. He appears regularly on EWTN and resides in Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.

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