It's a tough call to follow the path chosen by Jesus
The season of Lent finds many church groups meeting for special times of study and discussion. While the topics covered on such occasions will be many and wide-ranging it is likely that at some point the subject of Jesus' forty days in the wilderness will be touched upon. As the period of Lent (forty days not counting Sundays) is meant to reflect this episode at the start of Jesus' ministry this should come as no surprise.
The Gospel accounts tell us of the challenges Jesus faced as he struggled to articulate the sort of Messiah he was going to be. His Baptism by John confirmed for Jesus that he was called by God to a unique ministry. The issue now was how that calling was to be worked out in practice.
Jesus faced three particular temptations. The first of these is the call to turn stones into bread. If you had the power to do so surely, after forty days of fasting, it would be an obvious solution to physical need. He is told he can have anything he wants (the whole world in fact) if only he will reject his father's call on his life. It is suggested that miraculous stunts will draw a crowd. Sensational events will always attract attention. It must have been an attractive prospect: draw the masses and you will have a captive audience to preach to.
Each temptation is rejected. From the outset we see Jesus refusing to settle for anything less than submitting himself to God's will. It is, he shows us, never a matter of what seems reasonable, convenient or a means to an end. It is always an issue of what God's plan is and whether we are prepared to pursue this wholeheartedly.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
There is a consequence to such commitment. The path Jesus chooses leads not to triumph, popularity and the welcome of the crowd. It leads rather to betrayal, rejection, suffering and crucifixion. And to everyone who would be a disciple of Jesus two thousand years on, the call is no less. "Take up your cross," he says, "and follow me."
Malc' Halliday is Centre Manager of the Christian Resources Project, Plymouth email@example.com