After his baptism, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'”
Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.'”
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’
‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”
Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
From Jonathan Sanders
“where for forty days he was tempted by the devil”
I sometimes wish I could only be tempted for forty days. Not to diminish what Jesus was going through or the practice of sacrifice during the Lenten Season, but I think a lot of us have been tempted with various things throughout our entire lives. This seems to simply be a microcosm of what we experience on a daily basis. Maybe this is a just a reminder that whenever tempted, we are to simply stay the course and “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”
Sounds fairly easy, but in my experience, it isn’t. But maybe I haven’t actually been doing what Jesus says in this Gospel reading. Am I serving only Him? No. I am serving my own self. I am really after my own momentary “needs”, which aren’t really needs at all. I am taking the easy way out. Staying the course is hard. I guess this is the reason for the passage. Jesus is sharing in the experiences that we have in an attempt to show his full human-ness. Maybe we need to show our God-ness and be there for one another during our moments of temptation. How can we practice this together?