My Temptations, Part 1 of 3

Subtitle: A Lenten meditation on Luke 4.1-13 and a confession of personal struggle

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Jesus was baptized. The heavens opened. God’s Spirit visibly descended. The voice of God proclaimed, “You are my Son, with whom I am pleased.”[1] Triplicate divine confirmations that Jesus is Messiah, God’s anointed, the bodily bearer of God’s word.

Question: What kind of Messiah will Jesus be?

Jesus’ wilderness temptations, holding in tension fulfillment of self-interest and commitment to a larger purpose, offer an answer. The devil, the personification of evil, all that defies and denies God, tempts Jesus to satisfy worldly needs. As I interpret them (through the inverted lens of an olden maxim: Doing the wrong thing for the right reason)…

Of the flesh. “Turn this stone to bread, so to feed others!”

Of power. “Worship me and I will grant you limitless authority to do boundless good!”

Of certainty. “Leap from the temple pinnacle, for God’s angels will catch you. A dramatic display that will amaze the crowds, verify your identity, and fulfill your destiny!”

Jesus declines every inducement, passing the tests with proverbial flying colors.

More to come…

© 2022 PRA


[1] See Luke 3.21-22.

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