Sent By God To Overcome Temptations

Sent By God To Overcome Temptations

February 18, 2024
Readings: Genesis 9:8-17
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:9-13

1st Sunday of Lent

The Church is now in the Lenten season. God has given to us all things, the beauty of God and His love for us. During the Christmas season leading to the Epiphany, we saw the birth of Jesus, witnessed by the angels and shepherds, and the wise men paying homage to Jesus after two years. Then, the family had to flee to Egypt because Herod was after the Christ Child.

After the death of Herod, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to bring his family to Israel since King Herod and the ones who sought the death of Jesus had already died. But Joseph was afraid to go to Judea and so they went to Nazareth instead, where they stayed for the next 30 years. In Nazareth, Jesus had a home, He was taught carpentry work by Joseph, He learned about God from His parents, He spent time learning about God’s ways. When Jesus grew up to begin His Ministry, He knew He had a mission, He was aware of His responsibility. As Christians, do we compromise many times or are we like Christ, who proclaimed His being sent by God. John 17: 19 “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” Jesus was setting a pattern for us to follow. He also told His disciples the things He will do, they should do also. He had to make a decision. He had to admit His purpose in life. In Nazareth, He might have had a private life, but in Baptism, He was now proclaiming His identity. Luke 7:29-30 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the Law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.

When Jesus came out of the water, the heavens were opened. (In Jewish it meant that the heavens were torn open). This was telling us that “now is a new beginning.” God spoke, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I an well pleased.” God Himself was certifying Christ. A dove descended and landed on His shoulder, representing the Holy Spirit empowering Him. Christ was chosen by God. Luke 7:27 “This is the one about whom it is written: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” Christ is the source of everything. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. And yet, we seek for other things to fulfill ourselves.

After Baptism, the Spirit immediately leads Him to the wilderness, separated from man, separated from community. He is taken there to be trained and tempted. But He did not succumb to the wiles of the enemy. Each time He was tempted, He quoted the Scriptures, saying, “It is written…” It is not a sin to be tempted. It is wrong when we succumb to it. When He overcame each temptation, the angels came to minister to Him. Paul in a similar manner, went away to the wilderness of Arabia, before returning to Damascus. Paul who was formerly Saul, had a deeper insight about the things of God even more than the disciples because He was taught by the Spirit of God and not the theology of man. Paul wrote most of the Epistles in the New Testament. Psalm 2:7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I will become your Father.” Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit in Him and He will bring justice to the nations.”

God has equipped Jesus to face every difficulty to overcome and to not give up. When we face difficulties, we should turn to God and not turn to other sources otherwise we will find ourselves in trouble. God will not fail us. Our goal is to be like Christ. May we all be like Him.


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