Recently, I was with a group of young people and we were talking about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. I asked them what is the take away from this story – what do we need to learn? They responded with the common things I have heard from many others: Jesus was showing us we can overcome temptation like he did, the devil is a liar, faith in God protects us from Satan; we need to know scripture so we are not deceived, and so on.
Those thoughts are not necessarily wrong or bad but something triggered in my mind. The Bible is the revelation of God; every story whispers Jesus name. Unfortunately, we often make the story all about us and from there we tend towards moralizing and even salvation and righteousness by works.
What if the story is all about Jesus and only there to tell us about him? If so, what does this story tell us about Jesus? As I look at the text through Jesus, what I discover is, it’s not about my abilities or overcoming, or my faith.
To me, it’s about Jesus, God with us, who was willing to do whatever it takes, to endure everything that can be thrown at him, so that he can set us free and bring us home.
What do you see in this Jesus story?