Powerful men stand boldly on the pages of history. Cities, universities, even Bibles are named for them: Pharaoh Ramses. Cesar Augustus. Emperor Constantine. King James. Chief Pontiac. John D. Rockefeller. James Buchanan Duke. Joseph Stalin.
Thus when the Son of God steps onto the pages of history people might have expected greatness in the way of the world: Miracles performed that would end hunger and poverty. Angelic armies protecting the Prince of Peace. Kings and princes the world over would immediately bow to his name and tremble in his presence.
Thus the slanderer (the devil) taunts him: “If you are the Son of God …”
Instead of gathering his supporters and army, the King of Kings spends forty days and forty nights fasting in the wilderness, struggling with his humanity, responding to temptations with humility. Not in the fashion of great figures of history, but as one who might be a footnote or a comment in the margins of history.
How might we prepare ourselves during this season of Lent to understand the Prince of Peace who would not lift a finger even to end is own hunger for bread?
I will have more to say about Matthew 4:1-11 at 8:15 AM or 10 AM on Sunday, March 5th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.