March 11, 2019

Luke 4:1-2a  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil.

I left the footnote in the text on purpose. Most of the times we don’t bother with them, but I think this is significant. If you go to the bottom of the page in this version of the NIV bible you find “a:Luke 4:2 The Greek for tempted can also mean tested.” It is translated “tested” or, in its noun form, as “trial” in other parts of the New Testament (see James 1:2). We tend to think of temptation as a bad thing. Here, the Spirit leads Jesus into it? We are told to pray “lead us not into temptation” (same word) as a humble recognition of our human weakness, but there are times when testing can help us learn more about ourselves and provide the opportunity to experience God’s power in us. You may have heard that the Phillies just signed a star player for 330 million dollars. We hope he is the type that wants to be up at the plate with the game on the line. Maybe Lent can be an opportunity to test our faithfulness. Maybe the Spirit is in the tests you are facing. How might the Spirit be leading you in your trials this Lent? 

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