Nobody's Fool. A True Ruler
The glory of God is the human person fully alive. –St. Irenaeus
(Quote shared by Mike Yonkers to our Union Church)
Scripture: LUKE 4:1-13
The temptation of Jesus is not a traditional Advent passage, but it is an amazingly right focus. For what is Advent but a time of acknowledging that our God on High chose through Jesus to condescend into human form, as Philippians 2 says so poignantly ,
“Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness...”
The baby Jesus grew into a man, fully human while still divine, who experienced hunger, sorrow, joy and temptations. What does it mean for us that Jesus, our Savior, knew temptation just like us? How does Jesus teach us to respond to temptations when they come our way? How does Jesus help us recognize that there are tempting half-truth and falsehoods that take us away from our true identity of belovedness?
The writer of Hebrews affirms that we have a Savior who did not succumb to human temptations, though like us he knew the temptation to settle, to take the short cut, to refuse the way of traveling through suffering.
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18).”
When we ask the question, is God among us, we look to Jesus and see one who says,
“I am here, my beloved child. I know your temptation. I know your sorrow. I know your loneliness. I know your pain. I know your dreams. I know your hopes. I know your fears. And, I will never leave you or forsake you. Bring your burdens to me. I know. And, I entered this world to absorb the power of evil and free you. Live now as my free person no matter what the world tells you.”