Friday, March 7, 2014

Lent 1 A - Matthew 4:1-11

Matthew 4:1-11
It is right after Jesus’ baptism when The Voice from heaven declared “You are my beloved Son” that the Spirit led him into the wilderness for the time of testing. Famished after fasting, the tempter’s first attempt appeals to Jesus’ stomach. “Turn theses stones into bread” is an appetizing option after forty days and nights without food.  But Jesus is well fed on the word of God and trusting The Voice that declared him The Beloved he is not as hungry as the devil thought. The consummate con man changes tactics and using “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” tempts Jesus to give a demonstration of his trust. This temptation is trickier than it appears because proof negates trust but Jesus knows that testing The Voice denies the truth that he is The Beloved.  Believing the third time’s the charm the devil goes back to the basics and uses the temptation that worked so well in the garden. It is a temptation to take power from The Voice who called him The Beloved, even though it appears in bowing down Jesus would have to give power away. But the devil is offering an option, a discount if you will. Bow down on a high mountain or climb a hill to the place called the skull. It’s your choice, Jesus, and don’t let some Voice tell you different. To which Jesus replied, “Nice try.” And the devil said, “damn you” and left knowing he’d have to meet Jesus on the hill and there wasn’t a chance in hell he was going to fool the Beloved there. And the angels came smiling, laughing, rejoicing, as Jesus breathed a sigh of relief and rested in their arms.

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