February 21, 2010

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Psalm 91 Romans 10:8b-13 Luke 4:1-13 Today’s Gospel reading is the classic one for the first Sunday in the season of Lent. As we begin 40 days of Lenten prayer and preparation before the celebration of Easter, we hear about the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the wilderness before he began his ministry. Luke’s version of the story is by far the most interesting, as he gives details of the temptations that Jesus might have experienced, and how he managed to overcome those temptations by focussing on God’s Word. Three times, the devil appears, leading Jesus into temptation. And three times, Jesus avoids being led astray. Since Jesus is so hungry, he is first tempted to turn the stones into bread. But he reminds himself of God’s word: “One does not live by bread alone,” and the temptation passes. Next, he is tempted to use his power to become the ruler of the whole world. If he bows down to worship the devil, the evil one claims that Jesus can have it all. But Jesus knows another relevant verse: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” He refuses to worship anyone or anything other than God. The third and final temptation is for Jesus to test God and God’s love for him. The evil one can quote scripture too, and he challenges Jesus to throw himself down from the very top of the temple, in order to see if God will save … Read more »