Monday, January 12, 2015

Looking Forward to January 18, 2015 -- Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness

The Scripture Reading this week is Matthew 4:1-25

The Sermon title is Who Will He Be? Who Will I Be?

Early Thoughts:  So far in Matthew's Gospel we have learned a variety of things about Jesus.  He has been called Jeshua (Jesus)--the one who saves, and also Emmanuel--God-With-Us.  We are told that the heavens announced his birth as the King of the Jews.  We have learned that John recognized him as the one who would come, the one who is mightier than John, and that at his Baptism the Holy Spirit alighted on him as he was named God's Beloved.  Now what?

Now how will he live out the build up?

One of the things I have always seen in the story of Jesus in the desert is someone figuring out who/how he will be in the world.  And that can not have happened without the presence of the tester.

Because of years of traditions we tend to see the "devil" as someone who is trying to lead Jesus astray, as the demonic face of evil trying to stop the good from triumphing.  I suspect such an image would be foreign to Matthew as he wrote this story down.  It appears that this is more a story of being tested than being tempted.  Not being led astray but refining from a variety of options who he will be, how will he live out the calling of Messiah.

Who will Jesus be?  Will he feed the hungry?  Will he overturn the laws of nature? Will he come in power to rule?

OR will he be something totally different?

And once Jesus gets a clearer picture of who he is he goes straight to work.  Building a following, spreading Good News, changing the world.

Who are we in response to meeting him?


  1. Gord, I love where you went with this. It is making me re-think my position on the role the tester plays here. Maybe he is still in the traditional Hebrew scriptures role of clarifying agent...?

  2. Actually, Gord, do I have permission to quote you?

  3. SOrry Pat, just saw the question...yes...although it is a day or two late...

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