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The Temptation in the Desert (Mt.4)

The Temptation in the Desert (Mt.4)

In countless ways power is wielded over people in our time.  True, the battle for power is as old as humanity, but the battle is getting worse.  We know the weapons through which this happens: Force is power. Money is power. Knowledge is power.  Not only physical weapons are used to subjugate people, but also the more subtle weapons of technology, money and knowledge are employed on a large scale.  The newest, strongest, and most insidious means of power is called information.  Whoever has data has the future, is the message.

How often do we condemn the powerful of our time, until we come under the spell of power ourselves, and cannot resist the temptation to subjugate or belittle others.  In this way, as weak human beings, we all are part of the vicious cycle of power and powerlessness.

Three times Jesus is tempted to the utmost to exercise power:

Power over matter—by turning stones into bread,

Power over the laws of nature—by commanding the angels,

Power over earthly riches—by possessing everything.

He can do it, but all three times He chooses the royal way of powerlessness.  In the same way He will also confront His death—as the God of powerlessness.  Then, when He has been nailed to the cross, one more time the tempter will stand before Him in the guise of the crowd of people that tempt Him with the words: “He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now … for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

Because He, the almighty Creator, chose for powerlessness, He became truly our Lord.

And we?  Are we willing to follow Him on the royal way of powerlessness?

 

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, February 21, 2021

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