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REPENTANCE AND SALVATION

Read­ing Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

With the cel­eb­ra­tion of the Ash Wed­nes­day, the Church (Cath­ol­ic Church) begins an import­ant and unique moment in her litur­gic­al cel­eb­ra­tions – the sea­son of Lent. The Len­ten sea­son recalls the bib­lic­al peri­od of forty days and forty nights Jesus spent in the desert in pre­par­a­tion for his mis­sion. Jesus’ forty days and forty nights in the desert recall the forty days and forty nights that Moses spent on the Moun­tain dur­ing his encounter with God, and where he neither ate nor drank for forty days and forty nights (cf. Exod 24:18; 34:18; Deut 9:9–25; 10:10). It also refers to the forty days and forty nights that Eli­jah walked before reach­ing Mount Horeb (cf. 1Kgs 19:8). Again, Jesus’ forty days and forty nights fast­ing recall the forty years’ exper­i­ence of the Israel­ites in the wil­der­ness (cf. Deut 8:2–3). Unfor­tu­nately, Chris­ti­ans have failed to.….

To be tempted…

Accord­ing to Mark (4:13), “Jesus was in the wil­der­ness forty days, temp­ted by Satan….” While Mat­thew (4:1) has it that “…Jesus was led up by the Spir­it into the wil­der­ness to be temp­ted by the diabo­los”, Luke (4:1–2) has it that Jesus “full of the Holy Spir­it, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spir­it in the wil­der­ness, where for forty days he was temp­ted by the diabo­los.” What exactly does it mean to be temp­ted? The Greek verb peirazō could be used both in the good sense as well as in the bad sense. In the good sense as when God wants to try his people, peirazō means prove, put to test, try (cf. Heb 11:17). In the bad sense as refer­ring to a person’s unfriendly inten­tion towards God, or entice­ment to sin, the same verb means tempt, lure someone into sin (cf. Matt 16:1; Gal 6:1). In Jesus’ encounter with the Satan in Mark 1:12–13 (cf. Matt 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13), peirazō is used in the neg­at­ive sense because Satan’s inten­tion was to entice Jesus to sin. In our con­text there­fore, peirazō means to soli­cit to sin. The evil sense comes from its use for an evil purpose.

Conclusion

Satan wanted Jesus to put his own will and desire above the will of his Fath­er. He wanted Jesus to act and live inde­pend­ently of God. We must always remem­ber our depend­ence on God because, sep­ar­ated from him, we are noth­ing and can do noth­ing (cf. John 15:5). Giv­ing in to tempta­tions means sac­ri­fi­cing our future hap­pi­ness for a short-term gain. What shall it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your own soul (Mark 8:36)? After his bap­tism, the spir­it of God des­cen­ded on Jesus. It was this same spir­it that led him to the desert where he had his retreat before his mis­sion. He was able to defeat the Satan because he allowed him­self to be guided by the spir­it of God. From the look of things, the spir­it of God, which Chris­ti­ans received dur­ing bap­tism, appear to have no role in their words and actions. They have sub­sti­tuted the Holy Spir­it with their own mere human spirit.

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the 1st Sunday of Lent (B) is found on vols. I‑II pages 132–149 (vol. I) and 118–121 (vol. II). Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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