by Carolyn Schmitt

My, how time flies!  Just three months ago it was the first Sunday in Advent, then we celebrated Jesus’s birth and the start of 2024 and now we are three weeks into Lent, and in less than a month it will be Easter Sunday.

“One day at a time,” is a comment many of us make as we are going through difficult times. I  wonder if Jesus might have thought, maybe even have said it as he grew to adulthood in Nazareth. 

From the time he was born, the only time we get news of him is recorded in Luke 2:41-52, when, as a twelve year old boy, he is in Jerusalem sitting in the temple courts conversing with the teachers there. The only words we “hear” him say are, “Why were you searching for me. Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Then he went back to Nazareth, was obedient to Joseph and Mary and, “… grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” 

Thirty years have passed, one day at a time, when we see him next at his baptism.

The Baptism of Jesus

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

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

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:  

‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,”
he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

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

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:1-11

So it seems to me that when Jesus teaches us to pray “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one“, He is sharing with us his experiences of being tempted by the enemy, especially when we are going through times of weariness and weakness.  

Knowing that Jesus shared our experience and understands our weakness can give us confidence in coming to Our Father in Heaven for help to resist the evil that would tempt us to turn from him.  As we pray the Lord’s prayer, also rest in the truth that Jesus is also praying in heaven for us.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

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