Friday, February 24, 2012

Lent: Day 3

Today's reading: Matthew 4:1-11

When we read the Bible we often jump straight to the application of a passage asking, "What does this text say about me?" While there are plenty of passages in the Bible that have a word to say about us, many passages don't have us as the subject. The primarily word these texts speak is a word about God. The story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness is one of those stories.

We read this text and often jump straight into a lesson on how to resist temptation, but if you'll notice, we are nowhere to be found in this story. Our representatives in the scripture had already had their shot at resisting temptation and failed. We now follow their well trodden path. This is a story that tells us that Jesus took a different road. When faced with the temptation to be driven by his desires or to take an easier, less painful path to the kingdom come, Jesus remained faithful to God's will and not his own.

During this season of Lent and during every other season, as well, our hope is not found in our ability to resist temptation, but in the fact that Jesus already has. We shall find release from those sins that so easily entangle us not by reinforcing our already broken will power, but by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart - Hebrews 12:1-3.

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