|The Temptation of Christ|
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary:
Old Testament: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7Lectionary Reflections:
Psalm: Psalm 32
Epistle: Romans 5:12-19
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
The Brazos Blog
Jesus, the Son of God, is led by the Spirit into the wilderness and abandoned to the “tempter.” This “then,” therefore, anticipates the agony of the cross and the cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).
Jesus is to be subjected to Israel’s testing in the wilderness, a testing in which Israel proved her inability to live faithfully despite God’s good gifts. The Son, however, will be obedient, but we cannot overlook the cost of his obedience. His obedience depends on his trusting the Father’s faithfulness to Israel through the scripture.
Jesus is able to resist the devil, a devil able to quote scripture, by being a superior exegete to the one who would tempt him. Jesus, the faithful interpreter of Israel’s scripture, teaches us how to read so that we might know how to resist the devil.
First, however, Jesus must fast for forty days and nights. He thus replicates the hunger that God gave Israel in the wilderness in the hope it might learn humility. Jesus, the very embodiment of humility, accepts our humiliation and undergoes a fast for our sake.