When it comes to Jesus being tested in the wilderness, I always think of the part in the movie, the Cotton Patch Gospel when the actor portrays both Satan and Jesus. I started seeing this film when I was the female chaperone during the Confirmation retreats, probably around 6 years ago. I absolutely love the Cotton Patch Gospel and since I am a visual person, it helped me to understand the temptation even more, when it was acted out. The actor makes the devil so sly and conniving. And while Jesus was still a human and experiencing human emotions, he was able to stand firm up against the devil.
First off, we have all been tempted. I’m tempted by the chocolate bar on the counter, or to skip the gym and just go home, but to really be tempted the way Jesus was after being out in the desert for 40 days, what true dedication, faith and honor he showed to our Lord. As I have mentioned before, I have never fasted, but I am sure it can be a life changing and very spiritual experience. Jesus spent 40 days drawing closer to God, but then to be tempted with the craftiest tempter of them all – Jesus holds strong.
You all know the story so I don’t need to go line by line, but I love how Jesus always puts the Devil in his place after each temptation. Because of his faith, his endurance, his fasting, his beliefs, and his Father, he was always able to come back to the Devil with a Godly response. Here he is face to face with Satan himself and he’s not even rude to him; he simply speaks the Word of God to him and what better way to drive out Satan than with The Word. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be the last time Jesus was tested or tempted, but we see right from the start, Jesus was perfectly human but able to resist any temptation by Satan. So the next time we might feel tempted to gossip, to reach for the candy bar instead of the apple, or tempted to sleep instead of reading scripture, let’s remember DWJWD – Do what Jesus would do. That is sure to lead us down the proper road – every single time.
Faithful Father, help us to be more like Jesus when it comes to the temptations of this world. Open our eyes and hearts to follow You and Your word and to just say no and not give in. Help us to have an active prayer life so that we are able to resist worldly temptations and to trust in You to provide our needs. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.