Sunday Reflection


21st February 2021

...a time of preparation...


9  At that time Jesus came from
   Nazareth in Galilee and was
   baptised by John in the Jordan.
12 At once the Spirit sent him
   out into the wilderness,
13 and he was in the wilderness
   forty days,
   being tempted by Satan.
   He was with the wild animals,
   and angels attended him.

.....Mark 1:9,12


Ever since Genesis chapter 3
the Bible has been continuing
story of humanity's repeated
failure to overcome
the powers of evil.

God's people continually broke
the covenant,
they failed to respond to God,
to love, trust or obey him.

In today's passage as we see Jesus
beginning his public ministry
it is important to appreciate that
he was truly human as well as divine.

No palaces or aristocracy for him,
he was born and brought up in
humble surroundings
(Nazareth was considered
the back of beyond),

46 "Nazareth! Can anything good
    come from there?"
    Nathanael asked.
  "Come and see," said Philip.'

....John 1:46

And now at the age of about 30,
he was about to embark on
his public life.
But first he is led by the Spirit
into the wilderness to
confront the enemy
of man as a man.
True, he always had divine
power at his fingertip,
but he knew that was not the answer.

The forty days in the wilderness
was a time of preparation
leading up to the greatest
event in history.
Jesus' ministry culminating
in his death and resurrection.

As we commemorate the same
forty days of Lent,
we too need to prepare of the
celebration of Easter.

We can learn a great deal
from the story of the temptations.
Mark's version is very succinct
with few details,
while Luke and Matthew provide
for us a far more expansive
rendition of the story;
giving details of the
conversation between
Jesus and his tempter.

Jesus always answers the tempter
with words from the Scriptures,
emphasising that we must live
'on every word that comes from
the mouth of God' Matthew 4:4b,
Scripture is the word of God
which feeds our faith.

Three times Jesus says 'It is written..'
when he gives his replies.
Satan, too, uses a scripture passage
to try to catch him out,
but Jesus (the man) has been
feeding on the word of God
all his life and is able
to answer with equal,
if not superior, knowledge
and conviction.

As we journey through Lent,
preparing for Easter,
may our Bibles be our
constant companion.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Song of the Temptation'
sung by David Haasir
via the link shown below.