1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Just prior to Jesus’ going out into the wilderness, he was baptised by John, and heard from heaven: “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) Thus, the temptations the devil put to Jesus are linked to God the Father’s armation of Jesus as God’s Son.
As we continue our Lenten journey, there are similar temptations laid before us, tempting us to doubt God’s armation of us as God’s beloved children. For example, just as we have committed more time to spend in God’s presence or to helping God’s people, we discover an additional task we can undertake instead, to gain recognition from employers or teachers or even family.
Let us pray:
Loving God, our Creator and Lord
Help us to find nothing more beautiful than the awareness of your love for us.
Remind us that you draw close to us even before we choose to draw close to you.
Awaken our senses – still our busyness – so that we notice and rejoice in your presence in our daily lives. Amen
Revd Claudia Coustas