Sermon – February 17 – The Last Temptation

In the lesson today from the fourth chapter of Luke, we are told of the story of Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Spirit . Once there is his tempted by the devil.  Jesus is hungry.  He ate nothing at all during his 40 days in the wilderness.  The Devil, quoting scripture, tempts Jesus to fulfill his own needs.  But Jesus understands that it is not about fulfilling his own needs but about fulfilling God’s need for the world.  Jesus chose God.  The evil in the world is trying to cause mistrust with our creator God.

In the first lesson from Deuteronomy, we are told to take some of the first of all the fruit which we harvest.  God is the one who gives us the resources (first fruits) that we have, which we are to give back to God first.  We focus on the relationship with God instead of on our own needs.

In the last temptation cited in this reading, the devil tells Jesus since you are the Son of God throw yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple for “God will command his angels concerning you to protect you”.   Here the devil is quoting from Psalm 91.  But is it really God’s job to come protect us from all harm?  This is spare tire theology,  if we can’t fix it or take care of it ourselves, then God is always there to take care of it for us.   But that is not what God was saying and Jesus knew that.  We are convinced that no one else has the troubles that we do.   That others we come into contact with somehow have it all together and nothing bad ever happens to them.  God has not promised that our life would be easy, but that he has a plan for us.  We continue to work our way through life because we trust in the fulfillment of the plan that God has for us.

God chooses us at baptism and he nurtures us in the body and blood of communion.  Life is not easy, we have to depend on God, not necessarily to fix things but to be someone we can turn to. Someone with whom we have a relationship.   God promised that even to the end of the age, I will be with you.


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