[Matthew 4 – from The Message]
I don’t like tests. I might fail. Others might see that I am not so perfect. (As if they didn’t see that already, I just don’t want to see that they see.) But Jesus was taken into the desert for a test and he prepared for it by fasting. Me? 40 days? I have a hard time giving 15 minutes. Perhaps that is why I don’t see the Devil coming, or notice when he fools me.
And after he refused the devil’s compromise . . . the angels came to take care of all his needs. He wasn’t left without. I don’t think he held that as part of the bargain, though.
When John was arrested Jesus stepped up. He must have known what stepping up would mean, even then. It was as if the Romans called out, “Next!” But he was the sun, coming up in the lives of the people. He really did offer something new: new purpose, new promise – and healing from the old. And people came. Dropped their nets to follow, brought their illnesses and hopes to him. And he stepped up because he had, already, found the new.