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Jesus Journey into the Wilderness of Temptation

Christians are so used to thinking of Jesus as the Son of God that we forget that he was fully human just as we are.  He stayed with his family in Nazareth until he was almost 30 years old, probably taking care of his mother and any other family living with him.  He was known as a carpenter and it is how he made his living.  Yet when the Holy Spirit gave the word, Jesus began his public ministry.  Curiously, he began with his baptism, not a baptism for the forgiveness of sins, but a public commitment to follow the will of his Heavenly Father and to fulfill his calling as Messiah.  From those marvelous moments of oneness with his Father, he was led into the wilderness of temptation, where we encountered the Evil One.  Only three temptations are recorded, but those three embrace everything that tempts all of us -- the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.  Jesus answered each temptation with Scripture, causing the Evil One to slink away even as the Heavenly Father sent the angels to minister to Jesus in his starving condition.

All of us face temptations continually.  We must all make decisions about throwing over the training of our parents, the boundaries civilized society imposes, and the moral and spiritual concerns we have learned in Sunday school, in worship  or in any setting of our faith tradition.  In every case, the Scripture can give us the ammunition needed to overcome the temptation, giving each of us the strength to be faithful to ourselves, to others, and to God.  The Scripture assures us that no temptation can overcome us as God is faithful to give strength to resist.  Literally, God will make a way of escape.  Our task is to trust in God's keeping power, in God's faithfulness to guide and direct, and the power of God's Word to overcome the temptations of the Evil One.

 

And now Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witness of Christ our Lord.  To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and fOorever,  Amen.

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