It began with Jesus being anointed by the Spirit and affirmed by God as he is baptised by John and ended with complete triumph over temptation and, ultimately, Evil.

How did he defeat the devil? By the word of God alone.

What I find interesting is that God says, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” As soon as Jesus has been filled with the Spirit and affirmed by God the devil launches an attack. He offers Jesus some of our most basic desires, food, protection and recognition.

Jesus’ defence?

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

As we begin Lent I usually think about the sacrifice of Jesus fasting for 40 days and ponder the things which people give up during this time before we celebrate his resurrection and, in turn, our salvation. This year, though, a different thought strikes me, a realisation that, firstly, the Devil will strike when God has affirmed or directed us or set us on a path and, secondly, that our only defence is to stand on the word of God. We need to be steeped in scripture to be able to hold up our shields to deflect the arrows which come towards us.

 

And finally, our basic desires and needs can only be met through his word, his armour, and his kingship.

 

 

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