A READING FROM THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW – 4:1-11
Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was very hungry, and the tempter came and said to him “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves”. But he replied, “Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”.
The devil then took him to the holy city and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. “If you are the Son of God” he said “throw yourself down; for scripture says: He will put you in his angels charge, and the will support you on their hand in case you hurt your foot against a stone”.
Jesus said to him, “Scripture also says: You must not put the Lord your God to the test”.
Next,taking him to a high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “I will give you all these” he said “if you fall at my feet and worship me”. Then Jesus replied:
“Be gone Satan! For scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone”.
Then the devil left him, and angels appeared to look after him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
We use the word ‘tempted’. A better word is ‘tested’.
Abraham was ‘tested’ not ‘tempted’ to sacrifice his son Isaac. What we call temptation is not meant to make us sin. It is to help us conquer sin by identifying and naming the temptation.
The struggle, the test, the temptation goes on within, not outside. This wasn’t a once and for all event. Peter tempted him.(Matt16:23) You are the ones who stayed with me in my temptations (Lk 22:28) Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42)
Different types of temptations or tests:
- Use his powers for his own purposes. Bribe people to follow him.
- Feed peoples’ hunger. The real question – why are they hungry?
- Wonder worker. Sensationalist. Produce more and more.
- The way of the sensationalist is the way to failure.
- Change the world by becoming like the world.
- The tension between worldly values and values of the kingdom
The way of Jesus was not easy popularity, or power or sensation but the Way of the Cross.