Three Temptations—Three Lies
This First Sunday in Lent we’ll read the passage from the fourth chapter of Luke where Jesus withstands three trials from Satan. The temptations come to Jesus as Three Big Lies.
Here they are:
- You do not have enough.
- You are worthless in the eyes of anyone and everyone.
- Your faith won’t save you or help you.
It might take some explaining to show how we get from the story in Scripture to these Three Big Lies—it’s taken me over fifty years of striving to walk with Jesus through these Lenten Wildernesses to get here-- but I can assure you, these are lies we seem always to contend against.
The lies are vain attempts to divide us (the word devil means “the divider”) from a God who, in Jesus, tells us three Truths.
Here they are:
- God gives us plenty enough. So much that there’s plenty for everybody. Everybody.
- God sees us, made in God’s image, as already full of beauty and glory.
- Worldly fame, power, glory are counterfeit. God, in the Resurrected Jesus, will pluck us from even death.
Jesus, filled with the Spirit, refuses to accept any of the lies and chooses to hold fast to the truths. During his life and ministry he will himself become bread for the life of the world, he will display a power and a glory that make puny the powers of this world, and he will do that by utterly trusting in the protection of God’s love, that is even stronger than death.
This Lent, let’s walk together in the light of God’s truth, encouraging each other when we are tempted to see ourselves as less than God’s children, and abiding in the Spirit that empowers us to walk with Jesus and serve boldly and fearlessly in his name.
Let’s stay close to Jesus this Lent, friends!
The Right Reverend A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop, Episcopal Church of NH