“Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’” vs. 10
As Jews dreamed of the coming Messiah, they imagined a ruler like David to whom all the kingdoms of the world with all their splendor would be obedient. And in the wilderness, as he considered the dimensions of his call, Jesus came to realize that for that to happen he would need to make a pact with the devil–and he said, “No!” Temptations like the one faced by Jesus are not unusual for believers. We’re all conscious of what the world has to offer. From the time we’re children we’re told that material riches are at our fingertips, and that being successful means the accumulation of power and wealth. What we aren’t told is what Jesus figured out in a heartbeat, namely, that buying into the standards of the world always means making a deal with the devil. Our call as the servants of Jesus is not to lord it over any one, nor is it to pile up riches for ourselves. Rather, we have been set aside by our baptisms as beloved children of God, and our purpose is to be the daily presence of Christ in the lives of the hurting people around us. When we learn to say no to the subtle urgings of the devil and focus solely on serving the Lord, life in all its splendor opens up, and we can actually begin to know daily joy.
Thought for the Day: What’s it like to make a deal with the devil?