Thought for the Week: Paul Turner
It was I guess, to be a period of devotion as he prepared himself for what was to come but it also proved to be a period in which he faced a number of temptations.
The temptations, it seemed, were tailor-made to try and undermine Jesus’ capacity to do what God had called him to do.
He is shown all the kingdoms of the world, and it is possible that the world here represented the Roman Empire.
Perhaps the temptation was to rule the way of the devil, expressed in the brutality of the Roman Empire. He was asked to prove God by jumping off a building, expecting God to catch him.
Perhaps this time the temptation was to tell God how he should do things and maybe we see the human tendency to formulate our own religious beliefs rather than allowing God to set the parameters for religious practice and beliefs.
During his time in the wilderness he faced and overcame temptations that would have hindered or prevented him being the person he was meant to be.
In other words the fasting had a purpose – it wasn’t the act of giving up food as a personal discipline that was the issue but preparing himself to be as focused, spiritually, as possible so that he was in a stronger place when temptation came.
As I write we have just entered into Lent and looking through many of the comments on Twitter I am intrigued just how many people do give something up at this time of year.
But I am left wondering if on occasions the act of giving up something has become more important than the idea of devotion towards God.
Perhaps Lent this year can be an opportunity to think about our relationship with God and to face and overcome those things that somehow get in the way of a fulfilled life.