The Devil Puts Jesus to the Test

This meditation is based on a passage for September 22, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Luke 4:1-13

Reflection and Question: The greatest treatment of this story in all of literature is the parable of the Grand Inquisitor, told by Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov by Feodor Dostoevsky. It can be lifted from the novel and read by itself. The lasting power of Ivan’s story for me is the contrast between the way Jesus exercises power and the way we, humans, usually wield power. The inquisitor makes the temptations of the devil seem completely reasonable and makes Jesus look totally outrageous. Do you find resisting temptations easy or hard? Why?

Prayer: Jesus, our Savior, do not put us to the test, we pray. Shield us from the temptation to garner power for our own ends so that we may follow Your example of faith and humility. May there be no opportune time to turn us from You. Amen.