Monday, February 15, 2016
Luke 4:1: “And Jesus, fullof the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness….” Jesus had just been baptized. He’d heard the Father say: “You are my beloved Son.” Then, the Spirit tossed Him into the wilderness. No wonder Satan chided, “If you are the Son of God.” Hungry, thirsty, famished Jesus faced the devil’s temptations. Jesus could’ve snapped His fingers and silenced Satan. He didn’t. Jesus showed His Sonship by suffering our bodily needs while declaring victory over our old evil foe. Stones to bread would’ve cured His hunger pains. Jesus chose starvation while refuting Satan’s scowls. Gaining all the kingdoms of the world? No way! Jesus didn’t shortcut His trek to the cross. He longed to shed His own blood for us. Stage diving off the temple’s top? No. He didn’t conform topopular expectations. Jesus permitted Satan’s temptation so as to resist all those lures, traps, zaps and lies that often trip us up. Though Satan twisted Holy Scripture, Jesus replied, “It is written….” He corrected the devil with the Word in context just as He teaches us to read, mark, learn and take it to heart. You and I shudder. Family supports totter. emotional stability ebbs and flows. Jesus keeps speaking His Word through Bible studies, in sermons and in devotions. Our bodies and social supports wear out; Jesus’ reign endures. He’s cleansed us of our guilt. He stands us in His forgiveness. Doubts make us wonder if our sins are wiped away; Jesus returns us to Hispromise, “It is finished….” Jesus declared victory over Satan, suffered, died rose and ascended. Yes, our defeated foes—Satan, the world and our sinful flesh—pommel us with all their deception. Jesus calls us to place all our needs into His nail-pierced hands. He feeds us Himself, the bread of life, even as He guides our faith and life in His peace.