Testing or Temptation?
First week in Lent; time for one of the versions of Jesus being tested in the Wilderness. This year we hear Luke. Too often these are titled “The temptation of Christ in the wilderness.” Look up temptation in a dictionary. It’s not the right word. It takes away the real drama of this story. There is no moral dilemma going on here. This is Jesus coming to terms with what happens in his baptism where the Spirit descends on him and he hears a voice proclaim “You are my son the beloved.” Then he is led by the Spirit into the wilderness – a place where Moses and Israel met and were formed by God. Here too Jesus is formed as the beloved son. And then the devil tests what Jesus understands it means to be the beloved son and how he might live that out. Will he take short cuts? Will he give in to how others might live that or use that?
What about us this Lent? We too are beloved sons and daughters of God. Each Lent is a time to be further formed as beloved children. How are we being tested in our understanding of what this means? How are we being tested in how we might live that out?