For many a desert is a dry, lifeless place – perhaps a metaphor for a painful, unrewarding time in life. But for people who live in arid ecosystems, a desert is a place where trees grow deep roots and plants succulent stems. A desert holds hidden springs and sheltering valleys.
In the desert the people of Israel drank from springs in the rock, ate migrating quail, and found daily sustenance on the bushes. The desert deepened Israel’s experience of God’s sustaining love. In the desert Jesus deepened his response to the Spirit.
Read the rest of this issue, then order the entire Lenten series
The devil had been tempting Jesus in the desert.
Jesus said, “Scripture says, ‘You shall not put the Holy One your God to the test.’”
In their theological duel Jesus and his antagonist express two very different interpretations of the role and mission of the messiah. The devil tempts Jesus to display his power―to turn stone to bread, to take over world rule to prove he is God’s Son. Jesus answers each temptation with a scripture verse from Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of Israel’s law or Torah. Jesus is God’s Spirit-filled prophet who trusts God’s word.
What temptations do you as a Christian face in our society today?