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The Return of the King

Lent - February 19

Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13


The story of the temptation of Jesus is one of the traditional passages read at Lent. Jesus’ 40-day fast before His temptation is considered the inspiration for why Christians worldwide and throughout history have observed 40 days of prayer and fasting before Easter. After this long fast, Satan appeared and tempted Jesus. This attack happened soon after Jesus’ baptism and before His public ministry began. This story reminds us that God often uses suffering and temptation to prepare us for what He has in store for us.

The Return of the King

The only witness to this story was Jesus. The only reason we know it is because He told it to His disciples. It was deeply significant to Jesus — the antithesis of an earlier temptation.

The other temptation took place in a Garden, where Adam and Eve lacked nothing. Jesus’ temptation took place in the wilderness, a place of desolation. The first tells of ruin, the latter of redemption. The first suggests that evil triumphs and the latter proclaims a sure victory over evil.

Eve heard the Devil’s seductive proposal – God was not to be trusted – He was holding back.

She “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and desired to make one wise.” The lust of the flesh. The lust of the eyes. The pride of life.

The Devil’s playbook never changes. He tempted Jesus to provide food for Himself, set His eyes on kingdoms, and force God’s hand by asserting His own rule in His own time. Flesh, eyes, pride. Jesus refused. He trusted His Father. Jesus’ standoff recaptured what Adam and Eve surrendered. When Jesus emerged from the desert, He held an invitation to a new Kingdom.

Questions for Reflection:

Think: Read through the temptation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and compare it to Jesus’ temptation. What are the similarities? What is different? How does knowing that Jesus redeemed the original temptation of humanity impact your understanding of this story and Jesus’ work?

Pray: Are there successful strategies that Satan has used against you to tempt you? Pray to God for victory over temptation and to lead you, by the Spirit, into the fullness of life in His Kingdom.

Respond: How can you take moments throughout your day to show your gratitude to Jesus for the victory He won?

With thanks to B4Church

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