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The temptation of Jesus

REFLECTIONS TODAY

Published

LUKE 4:1-13

reflectionstodayFilled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, One does not live by bread alone.” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

Tempted like us in every way

The Letter to the Hebrews (cf 2:17-18; 4:15) affirms that Jesus was tested in every way, like all of us, although he did not succumb to temptation. Temptations come from the evil one, and their target is to make us fall. On the other hand, trials and tests may be allowed by God to make us strong or be purified.

The devil thinks he can trap Jesus by promising him what ordinarily human beings desire: food, riches, honor. But Jesus is very strong and makes the devil realize that the things he (the devil) offers are not the most important in life, and that God is the source of everything. The devil tries to attack us where we are weakest (he tempts the hungry Jesus to turn the stone into bread), so our strategy is to be firm and steadfast, relying on the help of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who alone can enable us to resist every form of temptation.

Are you undergoing some form of temptation? Do you rely on your strength or on the Word of God and the power of the Spirit?

 SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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