Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1 NRSV)
Our scripture reading from Matthew has often been called the temptation of Jesus. Dr. William Barclay believes it would be accurately called "the testing of Jesus."

You know the story well. Jesus came from Nazareth at the age of thirty to be baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. As he came out of the water, the spirit of God descended upon him and a voice from heaven declared, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased." However, before there could be a reception and party to celebrate Jesus' baptism, the spirit of God led him to the desert--to do battle with Satan, the tempter, or more accurately, the tester.

Needless to say, Jesus passed. He refused every entreaty of the tempter. He came through with flying colors. The first man God created, Adam, failed a similar test. He ate the forbidden fruit. Christ did not fail. Christ passed the test.

We may fail test, but remember Christ passed the test for us!

Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to be my test taker. With Christ's help may I live more fully in your way of love. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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