We come to the final temptation of the Lord Jesus in the wilderness. The devil showed him a vision of all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence and offered this to him if only the Lord would worship him. To this ridiculous proposal, the Lord Jesus said: The Lord your God, shall you worship, and him alone shall you serve. The ironic thing in this temptation is that Jesus truly is a king, and he has all the kingdoms of the earth under his feet. What the devil offered Jesus, power and prosperity, are a big lie because in fact, Jesus had no need of them. He is already king, and only the devil could not acknowledge this truth. The third temptation strikes at the heart of the first commandment – to worship God alone and make him Lord of one’s life. And it is true that all through history people found it difficult to put this in practice. Like our inclination towards material things, like our fantasy for fame, we have a deep desire to rule our own kingdoms, our own life, our own path. The devil would be so foolish if he actually meant that Jesus would switch allegiance from the Father to him. And he would be so stupid as to want people today to give up their faith and instead, switch loyalty to him. That would be too obvious a temptation and too easy to unmask. There were people who have done that, and I can think of two I met, and in the end, they regret having played into the deceitful trick. The temptation to us is very subtle. The devil wants to create a space in people’s head to doubt the power of God. He wants people to rebel against the idea that God has a plan for them, especially when they cannot understand what’s going on, or do not agree with how things are going on, or when they cannot accept hardships, accidents, or changes that suddenly occurred. We think that if only have our way, we can do better, we can change things, we can redirect the course of life and history, we can be masters of our destiny. We want to be powerful over own lives because we fear the suffer, especially the sufferings we think we can avoid. But sometimes, to refuse suffering, instead of welcoming it, is in fact the most bitter ordeal. The devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. And indeed Jesus, too had his mountain, his Calvary, his Cross. On the cross, the Lord Jesus learned obedience to the Father, obedience to the events his Father planned for him, obedience to love to the point of sacrifice, obedience to the Spirit who joined him to the Father in what would have been painful separation. On the cross, instead of claiming his own power, Jesus showed how to live the words: The Lord your God, shall you worship, and him alone shall you serve. He trusted the Father, obeyed him, surrendered to him. In moments of doubt, in times of confusion, in instances when we cannot understand and simply cannot accept certain things in our lives, do we not feel tempted to abandon God and hold on to our own ideas, plans and designs and seize power from God to ourselves? Why don’t we instead make our own the words that made the devil vanish and flee: The Lord your God, shall you worship, and him alone shall you serve. Then continue living under the Father’s kingdom, in accordance with his divine will, attuned to the working of his Spirit in our hearts. Share on FacebookTweet Total Views: 91