As we are getting closer to the lent season, only twelve days to go. I was thinking about the word “temptation”.
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. Luke 4:1
The three related passages Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:9–13, and Luke 4:1– 13 all describe Jesus being tempted during a forty-day period in the wilderness of the Judean desert. He was tempted three times. On each occasion, the devil misquoted scripture to tempt Jesus and, on each occasion, Jesus responded by quoting a different verse from scripture to explain why he would not fall for the temptation.
Temptation is the desire to have or do something, especially something that is wrong, or something that causes an improper desire. That’s why we might say, ‘I’m tempted to kill/steal tell lies or gossip’, and so on. Some parts of the church will say that temptations come from the devil, others will talk about ‘the powers of evil’, while others again will prefer to think in terms of desires contrary to God that come from something deep within us.
‘Original sin’ is one phrase that tries to explain this third sense. The reason why we need to think about temptation is that (if the thing we are tempted about is really something wrong) it always seeks to take us away from God.
The subject of the temptation may be big and bad, or small and unremarkable. What matters is that giving in to temptation makes us weaker, in a spiritual sense, because giving in to temptation moves us away from God. Resisting temptation, then, is not about calories or laws, but about obeying God to belong to Him. In fact, we fulfill our spiritual destiny whenever we refuse to give in to temptation.
May, God protect and strengthen us in our everyday lives and give us the wisdom to do what pleases our Almighty God. Amen.
Have a blessed day.
Rev Kathreen Shabaz