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GOSPEL COMMENTARIES


 

 

TEMPTATION IN THE DESERT II (MATTHEW 4:1-11; LUKE 4:1-13)

Christ was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert to be tempted. He did not go on His own, teaching us not to rush on to temptations. In fact, Christ went to Galilee, having heard that John was imprisoned, to distance Himself from Herod. . .as an example for us.

The devil loves attacking man when he is alone; this seems to give him the upper hand. No one must enter into this situation unless, like Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, precisely to do battle against the wicked spirit.

Whenever you enter God's service, prepare yourself for battle against the evil spirits; life for you will be an ordeal. Because every wicked man is part of the devil's body and, thus, will be your enemy.

The devil begins his temptation by a suggestion, followed by offering delight and, consequently, getting our consent. Christ, being God, could not take delight nor give consent. So, in His case, the devil could only suggest. The trick is to beat the devil in this first step. Victory becomes more difficult in the second and nearly impossible in the third. 

The temptation of Christ is similar to that of Adam and Eve. It begins with gluttony wherewith the devil showed Eve the forbidden fruit, as he tempted Christ in turning stone into bread.

The second is vainglory wherewith Adam was offered, "You will be like gods," as Christ was tempted to fly.

The third is avarice, the mere acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, in the case of  Christ-- the acquisition of the kingdoms of the world.

Christ, of course, could have thrown down Satan with a twit of His finger; but He was showing us how to overcome the evil one. How? By refuting him with the commands of Christ.

Faced with someone so vicious, we must not be angered nor take revenge but face them with the commands of Christ. Christ overcame His enemy, not by destroying him but, by bearing with him for a short while.

 

 

 

 

 

(11-22-02)

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