The Three Temptations (Mt 4:1:11)
O Jesus, let me triumph as you did.
Picture Jesus overcoming Satan’s temptations.
Mark just says that Jesus was tempted by the devil. Matthew gives three definite temptations, sensuality (the bread), misuse of miraculous powers (asking angels to protect), and using political power to establish the Kingdom. Jesus uses God’s word to conquer Satan.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Not by bread alone does man live but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
The devil took him to the holy city and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down because it is written, ‘He has given his angels charge concerning you. In their hands they will lift you up so that you do not dash your foot against the stone.’” Jesus said, “It is also written – You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”
The devil took him up a very high mountain and showed him all the Kingdoms of the world and all their glory. He said, “I will give you all of these if you fall down and adore me.” Jesus said, “Begone Satan. It is written, ‘The Lord your God shall you adore and him alone shall you serve.’” The devil left him and the angels came to minister to him.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- After anointing Jesus at Baptism, the Holy Spirit immediately sends him into combat against Satan.
- Jesus prepares for spiritual warfare by forty days of fasting.
- Knowing his hunger, Satan tempts him with bread.
- Jesus knows that God’s word is more important than bread.
- Satan tempts Jesus to attract people into his kingdom by an extraordinary outward sign.
- This would test God, as the Jews did in the desert.
- Satan invites Jesus to be satisfied to rule this world, by abandoning the Father’s Kingdom.
- By using biblical words, Jesus wins a complete victory. Satan leaves and angels come.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Holy Spirit, come upon me. Anoint me with Your power.
- Move me wherever you want. I will follow your guidance.
- Jesus, teach me to fast so I can conquer my appetites.
- Give me a hunger for God’s word. This will protect me.
- Father, you will take care of me. Your angels always surround me.
- Remove all worldly ambitions. To be in your Kingdom is my only hope.
- Give me the victory, Jesus. The angels will rejoice with me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will not enter the places of temptations.
+ I will set aside every ambition except to be with Jesus.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
The devil left him and angels came to minister to him.