To be a comfortable messiah?

Luke 4:1-13 (Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16, Romans 10:8b-13)
 
Lent has begun, and in the series of appointed scripture texts (the lectionary), we rewind a wee bit; from the end of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and the beginning of his fateful journey to Jerusalem, to Jesus’ baptism.  In the Jordan, the father declared: You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 2:22). Now, Jesus is led into the wilderness by the same Spirit which had descended upon him at his baptism. Why? To reveal what “sonship” means. As I have written and preached before, the temptations that Jesus faced are not related to his power or lack thereof:
 
Jesus could turn stones into bread (he fed the five thousand with loaves and fish).
 
He could throw himself off the panicle of the temple (he was raised three days after the crucifixion).
 
He has glory and authority (clearly seen in his transfiguration, resurrection and ascension).
 
The temptation consists of the seductive call to exercise that power without the cross: to be a comfortable messiah. The same seductive temptation faced the Israelites in the Wilderness, to which each of Jesus’ three scriptural responses refer:
 
In Exodus, the people complain that they are hungry, and miss the fleshpots and bread of Egypt. So, God provided manna (Exodus 16). In Deuteronomy we learn the lesson: “He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”(Deuteronomy 8:3).
 
When Moses ascended the mountain to speak with God for forty days, the Israelites backslid while left behind and cast a calf of gold which they worshipped. Thus the rebuke in Deuteronomy 6:13: “The Lord your God you shall fear; him you shall serve, and by his name alone you shall    swear.”
 
At Rephidim, the thirsty Israelites put God to the test by demanding water. God commanded Moses to strike the rock at Horeb and water came out. The place was renamed Massah, which means “test” (Exodus 17:1-7).
 
In Deuteronomy comes the admonishment, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah” (6:16).
 
When tested/tempted, the Israelites failed/succumbed; but Jesus is obedient to the Father’s will. In the Wilderness, where Moses’ and Elijah’s ministry began; in the Wilderness where Israel was birthed; there we find out what being the Son of God truly means. And it is not at all comfortable.
 
May I be so bold as to suggest that we Christians ought to ask ourselves why it is we yearn for a comfortable gospel; an easygoing savior; a smooth faith path to walk upon; and simplistic answers to deep questions.  The scriptural evidence seems to suggest that such a human yearning, is indication of a seduction at work; and the danger sign of a yielding to temptation.