By Pastor Robert Forsberg
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1)
After Jesus had been prepared for His mission through His baptism and the Spirit descending upon Him, by order of God the Father, the Spirit led Jesus to a testing place. The test is to be administered by the very enemy of God, Satan. This is a “test” more than a “temptation” because God the Father is looking for an A+ passing grade from Jesus. Satan gives Jesus three essay questions that cover every major temptation a human can face. Jesus’ response pleases the Father and forces Satan to leave Him until he can think up some new angles of tempting.
Is it much different with us and our tests and temptations? All of us are susceptible to temptation of one sort or another. This is part of our Faith Journey. God wishes to know who are truly His – who will remain faithful to Him when the darkness of Satan overshadows us. Our response is different than that of Jesus because we will fall for some of the traps of Satan. Yet, that is the beauty of the Cross. In Jesus’ death for us we have Him to lift us up by His forgiveness when we fall. Every failing grade on our part is erased and turned into an A+ by our Lord Jesus. In the end the Father is pleased with us because of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, we thank You that when life sends tests our way that are delivered as temptations by Satan, we are not alone in resisting but empowered by Your Spirit. And also, when we fall, Jesus is close buy to erase our failing grade and replace it with an A+. Only You could be so merciful. Only You could be so loving. Praise Your Holy Name. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn and a guest columnist.