Reflection: The Temptation of Jesus

By Sr. Lilian Okwechime, SHCJ, Abuja, Nigeria

Our earthly journey is arrayed with temptations just as Luke 17:1 puts it: “Things that will cause you to sin must come” Temptations are not sin, but they can cause someone to sin.

Today’s Gospel, from Luke 4: 1-13, talks about the temptation of Jesus.

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil… And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time”.

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Temptations are necessary for our spiritual growth, in fact it is only after we have been able to overcome temptation that we can claim to be spiritually strong.

Causes of temptation are all around us ranging from: craving for prestige and recognition, our common desires, satisfaction of the body and appetite for acquisition of power and wealth. (I.e. Identity, Authority and Our Source of Provision)

Identity: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down…” Jesus understood His identity and refused to allow Satan to redefine Him.

Authority: “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!… Jesus’ authority was rooted in doing only what He saw the Father do.”

Our Source of Provision: “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

Jesus was tempted in three areas where you and I are most tempted. Jesus needed to affirm to Satan who He was and from whom He gained His authority and provision.

One key with which we can overcome temptation just like Jesus did is by delaying and denying of gratification, that is by standing firm to say no to certain demands.