Author: Isaiah Lewis
Reflection: v. 13, ‘After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity’
HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Some recovery communities use the acronym HALT to describe when we’re most susceptible to the temptations to give in to destructive impulses and addictions. The scripture today presents Jesus as dealing with at least three of these vulnerabilities: he’s hungry, tired, and alone. Perhaps predictably, that is exactly where the devil shows up. And the temptations Jesus is offered have everything to do with power. Again and again, the devil tries to needle Jesus into proving himself.
Sometimes when I’m hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, I can be convinced that I have something to prove, too. I feel vulnerable and that scares me, so I cling to false promises of power. But Jesus doesn’t fall for the devil’s trap. He isn’t afraid of his own human vulnerabilities, so he doesn’t have anything to prove. He has just been baptized and told by the Holy Spirit how much God loves him, and he holds onto that love to keep him stable in the midst of temptation. I don’t have much in common with Jesus, but if I can remember my baptism when I’m feeling the need to flex, I can get a little curious about what that not-enoughness is hiding. When my identity is grounded in God’s love, I’m better equipped to fight the temptations of power and privilege.
Prayer God, help us ground our beings in you. Be with us in our vulnerability and keep the devil and his temptations far from us.