Jesus Is Tempted In The Desert – The Sunday Gospel lectionary reading for Lent 1 in Year C is Luke 4.1–13, Luke’s account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. The 40 days during which Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness provides us with an example of the Lenten period – although it should be noted at the outset that the number 40 in Scripture is often taken as an imaginary or symbolic number, meaning “significant”. . period’ (the wanderings of the Exodus actually lasted 42 years) and the 40 days of Lent do not include Sundays, which remain as holidays that we are free from Lenten disciplines. So don’t forget where you kept all that chocolate…!

(It should also be noted in a slightly strange way that using the Lent calendar leading up to Easter distorts the biblical narrative, since for Jesus the 40 days of preparation for his ministry are somewhat distant from the events of Easter, while for we have 40 days leading directly to the events of Holy Week and Easter itself. This may be a reason to change the calendar, but I’m not sure it will happen anytime soon!)

Jesus Is Tempted In The Desert

Jesus Is Tempted In The Desert

Felix Just, on his Catholic Resources page, has a helpful chart comparing the three synoptic accounts of the temptation:

The Kingdoms Of This World

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness. 13 He was forty days in the desert and tempted the devil; and he was with the wild animals…

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and then he was hungry.

1 Jesus, who was full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was guided by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over, he was starving.

3 The tempter came and said to Him: “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” 4 But he answered: “It is written: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (see Deuteronomy 8:3cd).

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3 The devil said to him: “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 Jesus answered her: “It is written: ‘No one lives by bread alone'” (see Deuteronomy 8:3c).

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, placed him on the top of the temple, 6 and said to him: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself on the ground; because it is written: “He will command His angels concerning you” and “They will lift you up in their hands, so that you do not dash your foot against a stone”” (see Ps. 91:11-12). 7 Jesus said to him: “It is written again: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (see Deuteronomy 6:16).

5 Then the devil took him out and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment. 6 And the devil said to him: “I will give you their glory and all this power; for it is committed to me, and I give it to whomsoever I will. 7 So if you worship Me, everything is yours.” 8 Jesus answered her: “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and worship Him alone'” (Deuteronomy 6:13).

Jesus Is Tempted In The Desert

8 Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 And he said to him: “If you fall down and worship Me, I will give you all this.” 10 Jesus said to him: “Get away from you, Satan!” for it is written: “Worship the Lord your God and worship Him alone”” (Deuteronomy 6:13).

Bible Book Jesus Temptation Hi Res Stock Photography And Images

9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem and placed him on the top of the temple and said to him: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 because it is written: “He will command his angels.” 11 And they will carry you in their hands, so that you do not strike your foot against a stone” (see Psalm 91:11-12) 12 Jesus answered him: “It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test”” (Deut. Law 6:16).

This is useful both for highlighting common themes developed by the three Gospel writers, but also for highlighting different emphases.

A common theme is the tension between Satan’s apparent power and God’s sovereignty over the whole event. Mark puts it very brutally – the Spirit “throws” or “runs” (

) Jesus into the wilderness – where Matthew and Luke are a little more measured. But all three are clear that Jesus was not alone, contrary to some readings of the legend, and also contrary to a very sad song I remember from school days, Heavenly Father Guide Us, Guide Us, which contains the lines:

Temptations In The Desert Storyboard By Alexwatroba

The Temptations may not have been a laughing stock, but Jesus was not portrayed as “lonely and sad”; in Mark he is served by angels and wild animals, and in Luke it is clear that he is “filled with the Holy Spirit” and the words of his Father’s blessing ring in his ears. Luke also describes the effect of this time of discipline; when I read Luke, he does not shy away from the language of power and goes into the desert “filled with the Spirit” and returns “in the power of the Spirit” to serve (Luke 4.14).

As for fasting, Mark doesn’t even mention it; Matthew mentions forty days and nights, drawing his usual balance with the experience of Moses (Ex. 34.28); while Luke (perhaps writing for those less familiar with the biblical discipline of fasting?) emphasizes the human reality that he ate nothing and therefore starved.

This brings us to the question of the content and arrangement of the three temptations. Some commentators question whether our account is of “real” events or whether (as portrayed in some movies) these things happened in the mind of Jesus, since, for example, there is no mountain high enough from which you “all see the kingdoms”. world”. But we use the language of “seeing” and “showing” in all sorts of symbolic ways, and there is nothing in this account to suggest that these were not real experiences, albeit with unusual dynamics to them. How did the Gospel writers know about these (and other) events that only Jesus witnessed? We must conclude with an English barbarian that “Jesus had the unfortunate habit of entertaining his disciples by sharing his personal spiritual experiences”. (I don’t remember who said it, but the idea of ​​such a personal disclosure was clear to him!)

Jesus Is Tempted In The Desert

It is usually observed that the devil begins his attack on Jesus at the level of his personality and security: “If you are the son of God…”. Equally noticeable is that Jesus answers each time with a reference to Scripture, consistently referring to Deuteronomy 6-8, the passages that every observant Jew should study for a Bar Mitzvah. It is very strange that Jesus does this in response to the devil’s question

Bible Fun For Kids: 4.6. Jesus Is Tempted

We can also see that Jesus’ resistance to these temptations contrasts with the failure of God’s people in their wilderness wanderings. Where the people were complaining about the lack of bread (Ex. 16.3) and then the lack of manna (Num. 11.6), Jesus is satisfied with the call to desert discipline. Where the people succumbed to idolatry when they made the golden calf (Ex. 32), Jesus remains steadfastly focused on worshiping God alone. Where the people complained and tested God (Ex. 17.2-3), Jesus opposes the need to test God; the word of experience and the word of the Scriptures are sufficient for him. In this connection, Jesus “repeats” the story of God’s people and faithfully completes his “exodus” (Luke 9:31).

But it is also clear that Luke changed the order of Matthew’s three temptations. I think we see Luke admitting this, although the evidence is hidden in most English translations. Matthew uses the conjunctions “then” (

) in the second and third temptations, but Luke avoids these signs of temporal succession and simply says: “and” (

) to connect them. This reminds us that the Gospel writers do not always present us with a chronological account of events, but are happy to organize their material in thematic and narrative ways that convey not only the events of Jesus’ life, but also their significance.

Ron Dicianni: In The Wilderness Artwork

Matthew’s order is the most natural, culminating in the nature of the kingdom that Jesus will bring, reflecting the centrality of the “Kingdom of God/Heaven” in Jesus’ teaching in Matthew. Jesus’ answer is also very powerful because he is like that

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