God on Monday
'Jesus…was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days
he was tempted by the devil' Luke 4.1-13 (1-2a).
Satan understands that biblical faith is relevant to every area of life. This is displayed in his temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
His first temptation of Jesus is economic. At the end of a gruelling fast of forty days, Jesus is famished. Seeing in this an opportunity to take advantage, the devil suggests that Jesus turns stone into bread.
Politics is the focus of Jesus’ second temptation. After showing Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, Satan promises he will give Jesus political power in exchange for Jesus’ worship.
The third temptation is religious. The devil takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and entices him to throw himself down, as surely he can rely on God’s angels to protect him from harm.
Economics, politics, and religion. Christ’s lordship encompasses all three spheres. Satan is reminding Jesus of this truth, appealing to scripture to do so.
But truth without love is dangerous. Satan’s knowledge of the Bible may be impeccable but he is deaf to its love song. Instead of genuine praise, he exercises flattery and adulation. Oblivious to Jesus’ absolute trust in God’s good purposes, he seeks to beguile Jesus into putting God to the test.
Is Jesus Lord of your economic, political and religious life? If so, what practical difference will this make to your choices this week?
Satan knows scripture but uses that knowledge to manipulate. How can we ensure we match our biblical knowledge with biblical love?
Heavenly Father, your Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. But there Satan sought to lead him astray. In our current battles - economic, political and religious - may we know the victory when truth combines with love.
Why not use the forty days of lent like Jesus used his forty days in the wilderness - to be empowered through a deeper engagement with God’s word? There are plenty of resources to help. The publisher SPCK, for instance, has launched a new imprint called Form, designed to help ordinary Christians cultivate spiritual rhythms and practices in everyday life.
This Week's Author
Peter S Heslam, Director of Faith in Business
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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