As we embark on our Lenten journey it is good to look again at the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus is embarking on the work that He came to do and Satan is on His case, trying to trip Him up and catch Him out. But though Jesus was tempted by the devil, He never sinned. Although we may feel dirty after being tempted, we should remember that temptation itself is not sin. We sin when we give in and disobey God. Remembering this will help us turn away from the temptation.
Jesus wasn’t tempted inside the temple or at his baptism but in the desert where he was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. The devil often tempts us when we are vulnerable – when we are under physical or emotional stress (for example lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, or faced with uncertainty). But he also likes to tempt us through our strengths, where we are most susceptible to pride.
We need to guard at all times against his attacks. The devil’s temptations focused on three crucial areas: physical needs and desires, possessions and power, and pride. But Jesus did not give in. Jesus knows first-hand what we are experiencing, and He is willing and able to help us in our struggles.
This Lent is an opportunity for us all to reflect afresh on what areas of our lives we are most vulnerable to temptation in and to recognise anew the amazing sacrifice that Jesus had to pay for each one of us to free us from our sins and give us a fresh start. Then every day becomes an Easter celebration as we recognise the awesomeness of that – Wow!
5 March 17 New sheet