The Temptation Stories 2

Today's Bible reading: Luke 4:1-13

Luke's version of the temptation story comes immediately after the listing of Jesus’ family tree.  It’s significant that Jesus’ Sonship - proclaimed at His baptism - is now also seen as one which makes Him the perfect Adam.  So, the contrast which Luke's version implies is not only with disobedient Israel … but also with disobedient Adam.  Jesus - as the obedient Son of God - is not only the new Israel - the perfect Messianic King - but also the new Adam.  He can be this because He lives totally under God’s will.  Note that it is only here in Luke’s version that Jesus was led into the wilderness … how?  By the Spirit!

 Lastly, Mark’s version of the story is very brief … actually leaving out the three temptations that the devil challenges Jesus with.  An interesting note in this version is that Jesus was “with the wild beasts” in the wilderness.  Some have suggested that this meant to recall Adam with the animals in the Garden of Eden.  It’s more probable that it’s meant to recall Israel’s existence in the wilderness, with its wild creatures like scorpions and snakes, during the 40 years of wandering.

Prayer: Almighty God, unto You all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from you no secrets are hid.  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the power of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.