This coming Sunday is the first Sunday in Lent. The gospel reading is Mark 1:9-15. In verses 9-11 we have the narrative of Jesus’ baptism. Here the Father declares Jesus is His Son as the Spirit descends on Jesus.
Jesus’ status as God’s Son makes Him a target of Satan’s assaults. This same dynamic continues in the lives of God’s children today, as Satan does all that he can to tempt the baptized. Yet, our own Baptism joins us to Christ and clothes us with His righteousness.
In verses 12-13 we see Jesus’ successful struggle against temptation in the wilderness prefigure His final victory at the cross over our ancient foe. From the days of Adam and Eve, people have continuously fallen into Satan’s traps. Jesus, after uniting Himself with fallen humans through Baptism, won a preliminary victory over the evil foe’s temptations. At the cross, Jesus gained an even more wonderful victory for us. His resurrection proves that Satan cannot prevail.
The Word of God is the sole instrument which we must use in our constant fight with Satan. That’s what Jesus used in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. People cannot win in their struggle with their own flesh, the world and Satan unless they hear the Word of God and keep it.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for defeating the devil’s temptations. Thank you for giving us the means to resist Satan’s enticements through your Word and Sacraments. Help us to use this Lenten season to repent of our many actions that caused Christ to suffer and die. Help us to be on the alert to the lures that come from the devil and how he uses the world and our sinful flesh. Help us to daily put on the whole armor of God. Amen