During the forty years in the desert, after their deliverance from Egypt, the Israelites experienced three tests: physical hunger, lure of idolatry and the temptation to test God. We know from our reading and study of the Old Testament that the Israelites did not handle these temptations well. These are the same temptations that Jesus experiences in today’s gospel account from St. Luke.
How does Jesus handle them? Jesus is hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus quotes the Book of Deuteronomy, the charter document of the Old Testament: “It is written: One does not live on bread alone.”
The devil offers Jesus all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world, if He would worship him. Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.”
In the third temptation, the devil quotes Scripture: If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus responds again by quoting Deuteronomy: You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
Jesus’s successful handling of these temptations was part of “the remaking of man”. Like Jesus, in the time of temptation, we hold fast to the promises of God in Scriptures.
We begin Lent renewing our commitment to continue to grow in our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ – allowing Jesus to continue to “remake” us as well.
God bless you always!