Yesterday, I posted part I of a reflection on the temptations of Jesus where, at the beginning of the Gospel, the devil lays our trap after trap for Jesus… who resists them. Today, I want to spend some time reflecting on the final and most blatant of Jesus’ temptations: being tempted to embrace popularity or glory.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him. -Matthew 4:8-11
Jesus reacts to this temptation more severely than all the rest: rebuking the devil for the last time and sending him away. This is not the last time we will hear about Jesus’ kingdom in this world: the disciples will mix this up, and it will come up again over the course of His trial. On each occasion Jesus rebukes and corrects Satan, His disciples, and Pontius Pilate: His Kingdom is not of this world. But even with these accounts, we too can be tempted to focus on the wrong side of Heaven. [Read more…] about Temptation part 2