“The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ”He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered, ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’” Lk. 4:9-13 It may seem sort of backwards that the trusting thing to do here would be to NOT throw yourself down from a lethal height. For most of us, that would be the thing that would *require* trust! But in this case, the temptation for Jesus is not to “take the leap”, as it were, but instead to trust that God’s love held him even in the less-spectacular ways he enters his years of public ministry. And he does. He trusts the heart of God deeply enough that he doesn’t need to make this “grand entrance” the tempter is suggesting. He knows he will be cared for, and God’s purposes fulfilled in his life and ministry, whether he jumps or not. And he chooses “not”. The tempter is even quoting Scripture back at him, and still, he trusts the heart of God, doesn’t give in to the temptation to “prove himself” in this way. What do you make of this temptation? How do you see pieces of it in your own life? Do you have a temptation to be “spectacular”, as Henri Nouwen describes this temptation? Have you ever had Scripture quoted at you in a way that made you question God’s heart or intentions for you/your life? Jesus settles the question by not-jumping, by not-testing the God whose heart he knew. And angels did come to attend to him, there in the wilderness, without all the spectacular jumping. He was leaning in to his identity as the Beloved, rather than the spectacular crowd-pleasing Messiah. He knew who he was, and that he would be cared for by the One he trusted. How might you lean into that "knowing", as we spend time here with Jesus this week?
Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-03-28 14:34:29 UTC