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After His baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and to be tempted by the devil for forty days and nights. The first temptation concerned food. Jesus was the new Adam, facing a food test not in a garden but in the wilderness. Jesus was the new Israel, hungering in the desert but refusing to grumble or distrust His Father.
Satan tried to get Jesus to turn stones into bread, but Jesus answered, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Jesus - Deuteronomy - Moses - Reason - Israel
Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy, where Moses explained the reason for Israel’s hunger in the wilderness: Yahweh caused Israel “to humble you and to test you.” For Moses and Jesus, hunger is a teacher. Hunger teaches dependence. Hunger teaches us that we have no life in ourselves, and need life from outside. By teaching dependence, hunger teaches humility.
Today the Western church enters the Christian season of Lent, and Jesus’ fast in the wilderness is a model for Lent. Lent is a season of preparation for Easter, a forty-day fast in anticipation of the feast. Lent is the season of hunger.
Pharisees - Example - Occasion - Pride - Lent
We know from the Pharisees’ example that fasting can become an occasion for pride, but observing Lent with pride is a contradiction. Lent is a...
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