Friday, 10 September 2010

The temptations of Jesus.

It was Friday once again and Father Ignatius was at school with the youngsters at Catechism class. They had just read the passage in the Bible about Jesus in the desert and the temptations of Satan.

“Very strange story this …” said a young boy, “why didn’t Jesus just punch the devil on the nose and send him flying through the air?”

The girls laughed and some of the boys joined in.

“Yeh …” said one, “Krunch … Kerpaw … just like Batman would do …”

“Jesus would have won for sure …” said another.

The priest tapped the ruler gently on the desk to attract their attention and restore order. Once they’d settled down he said quietly,

“Actually … what Tom asked was a very intelligent question.”

“Wooo …” said a girl.

“That makes a change,” said a boy, “Tom having intelligence …”

Father Ignatius waited a few seconds and then went on,

“When Jesus came to earth He came as a human to share humanity with us so that we can accept Him and learn from Him. He was born a human baby, grew up a human and shared every emotion we share as human beings.

“Imagine for a minute if He came like a God, which He was of course, and still is.

“Imagine if He suddenly appeared like a superman or a batman or such other fictional heroes.

“With obvious powers like flying, super strength and the ability to do all the things we see in the movies. The people of the time would have been in total awe of Him and would have obeyed and followed Him just out of fear or wonderment.

“His very presence would have commanded universal obedience, respect and fear.

“Hardly free choice - is it? People would have followed and obeyed Him because He frightened them into it.”

The priest stopped again to let this image sink into the children’s consciousness.

“But instead,” he continued, “Jesus came on earth as a human.

“He humbled Himself as a baby born in poverty in a stable. Grew up with the poor and the down and outs … not as a king.

“As a human He felt every emotion that we feel. Sadness at the death of Lazarus … pity for the ill and poor … hunger pains when He fasted in the desert … and every other emotion we go through ... including temptations.

”In the desert Satan tempted Him with human temptations … If you are God's Son as you claim you are jump from this temple. Turn these stones into bread. Why don't you worship me? I can offer you much in return.

“I suspect that if chocolate had been invented at the time … Satan would have tempted Him with this too.”

Everyone laughed.

“And Satan tempts us too …” continued Father Ignatius gently, “not just with chocolates and other worldly temptations … but with distractions aimed at leading us away from God.

“Are there not times when, like a bright light in our head, we ask … Is this all real? Is there really a God out there? Jesus? Life after death? And all the other things we’re taught at Catechism or read in the Bible?

“What if it is all a big lie … and there is no God at all … or an after life?

“Now I hope these temptations don’t cross your minds too often. But they certainly will at some stage or other in your lives.

“Satan is always there; ready to put these and other thoughts in our minds to lead us astray.

“And you know something … The closer we come to God the harder the devil will work to lead us away from Him.

“There is no point in him tempting someone who doesn’t believe in God … is there? So he turns his attention to us.

”And that’s why Christ had to be tried by Satan. So that He could share our experiences as a human … but, most important; to be an example to us all on how to fight back these temptations.

“Through prayer!”

The priest paused once again.

“Every time He was tempted Jesus prayed to His Father for help.

”He was tempted yet again before He was arrested. He asked Himself and His Father … Can all this pass me by?

“Then, in prayer, He obeyed God and said; Not my will, but Yours.

”What a great example for us all to emulate! Not my will, but Yours.”

15 comments:

  1. This was a great way to start my weekend!! Thank you! Cathy

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  2. It's a consoling thought that Jesus really walked in our shoes in every way. He truly understands human nature and is with us to help us in our battle against temptation and sin. Thank you for this insightful story, Victor. Your stories remind me of Jesus' parables and they always teach something.

    The antics of the children were funny :)

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  3. I guess that's why in the Lord's prayer we pray "and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil!"
    I think it was important that you added “There is no point in him tempting someone who doesn’t believe in God … is there?..." That is very true!

    Another great post Victor!

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  4. Hello Cathy, Mary and Daily Grace,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging comments.

    Jesus became man and in being human He shared our every emotions ... we can take comfort from that whenever temptations come our way and pray for His help.

    God bless.

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  5. Victor, my favorite Fr. Ignatius stories are the ones where he is teaching Catechism Class to the youngsters. I love how he gently taps the ruler to command the attention of the children.

    Great explanation of temptation. Thank you very much.

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  6. Sorry I haven't been feeling well and have been away from the computer.....another wonderful story Victor, those lucky children being taught by Father Ignatius.....:-)Hugs

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  7. Hello Anne and Bernie,

    I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this story. Thank you for telling me about it. I hope you're better soon Bernie.

    God bless you both. Praying for you.

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  8. I like the new look to your blog..... and as always, the content is excellent.

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  9. Thank you Deacon Pat for visiting me and for your kind words of encouragement.

    God bless you.

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  10. I love this post and the beautiful and simple way you describe such mysteries. Thank you!

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  11. I am still laughing at "Kerpow". I can see the sound bubble with jagged edges flash on screen now ... followed by a "WHAAAM" in red and yellow.

    Great post. I always find it comforting that Jesus came to Earth as man. He knows our pain and out temptations. (Not that He didn't before I guess ... but it gives me some solace.)

    God Bless

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  12. I love your explanation that Satan tempts us most when we're closest to God. I will remember that the next time I have doubts.

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  13. Hi Mom, Michael and Sarah,

    Thank you so much for writing in. I feel encouraged and appreciative of your comments.

    God bless.

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  14. Such a gift God has blessed you with, Victor, and you use is so well for His glory!
    Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. You are indeed very kind Lulu. I thank you for your support and encouragement. Especially for the nice things you said about me on Amazon readers' reviews of my books.

      God bless you always.

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