My Temptations, Part 2 of 3

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


Jesus rejected the devil’s every inducement. Nevertheless, at the close of the wilderness encounter, the devil departed from Jesus until an opportune time.[1] In a word, as I interpret it, the devil’s work of enticement was no one-and-done thing.

As I reflect on Jesus’ earthly ministry, he continually contended against the devil’s temptation to satisfy the hungers of the flesh through people’s repeated clamoring for bread.[2] I call it the empty belly-factor. “Jesus, I’m too hungry to hear you. If you want me to listen to the spiritual, soul food of God’s word, then feed me!”

And Jesus continually combatted the devil’s temptation for power through the desire of those, amazed by his miracles, to make him their king.[3] It’s the it-factor. “Whatever ‘it’ is, Jesus, you’ve got it, so lead us!”

And Jesus continually confronted the devil’s temptation for certainty through people’s countless appeals to perform miracles.[4] As a native St. Louisan, I call this the Missouri-factor. “Show me, then I’ll believe!”

However, whatever Jesus’ temptations and how he responded to them tell me about him, they also are a mirror in which I behold my reflection.

More to come…

© 2022 PRA

[1] Luke 4.13 (my emphasis)

[2] See John 6.24-26.

[3] See John 6.1-15.

[4] See John 7.3-5.

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