Temptation is a universal human experience. While our individual temptations vary, the core issues at the heart of those temptations are consistent: a need for control, a fear of our own mortality leading us to excess, wondering if we are lovable.
In this familiar passage, Luke 4:1-13, Jesus has just been baptized by John and affirmed by the Father as the Beloved Son after which he faces a series of temptations in the wilderness from Satan after fasting for 40 days. Satan tempts Jesus to make bread from stones, to bow down to Satan in order to rule the kingdoms of the world instantly, and to throw himself off the temple to prove God’s love for him.
While there are countless lessons to be learned from this brief passage, a pivotal question emerges from each temptation:
So Satan, keep your bread. We are the Beloved of God.
Keep your kingdoms. We are doing God’s will.
Keep your dramatic God-tests.
We are doing God’s will, God’s way, because God is among us, and we trust him, even when it’s hard.
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Grace and Peace