Reading Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
As we begin our Lenten journey, I found myself thinking about what it is that I would do for a Lenten practice this year. Would I give something up or take on something new in hopes of drawing closer to God? As I thought about giving something up, I knew that throughout the coming 40 days, I would be tempted to break that commitment. And even if I took on something new, I would still be tempted to skip a few days here and there. Then this scripture appears with the story of Jesus in the wilderness, being tempted just like I was imagining. He was hungry for bread and Satan offered it. He was offered worldly things that would be much more comfortable than the dry wilderness or even the nomadic life he was living. Yet in response to all these things, he drew strength from God’s Word. Strength enough to overcome any temptation Satan had to offer.
As we journey through this Lent season, may we too draw strength from the Lord our God. Strength and courage enough for our faith to grow, our trust that God will provide to mature, and our identify as children of God to flourish. We may be tempted during our Lenten journey, but Christ Jesus walks this journey with us and points us toward the only thing that can turn away Satan, the Word of God.
Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of this Lenten season where we can draw closer to you and to your Word. Give us strength, courage, and wisdom for the journey ahead that we might resist all worldly temptations. This we pray in the name of your son Jesus Christ, our Lord.