Matthew 4:8-11 Jesus beats the devil for now
And the Devil left him: interesting that even though Jesus did not fall to the Devil’s offering that we are still left with a cliffhanger. Our passage doesn’t say the Devil went away for good and in fact would leave us to believe that the Devil will be back. In any good comic book you know the bad guy is never gone; they will always return (even when you think they are dead). We get the same sense here, the Devil will be back.
When is this important? Because just as God gives us second chances to follow in the Divine’s way so does the Devil give us second chances to follow in evil’s way. You see throughout our life we are given opportunities to respond to God or to allow the Devil to creep in.
We use Lent as a time to think about this. Usually we as Christians don’t like to talk about the Devil or we allow that to be “outside” the norm. In many ways we do this as a way to defeat the Devil – not allow ourselves to acknowledge the personification of the evil in the world. Yet the Bible gives us many examples of a Devil being. The opening moments of Lent remind us of this strong and real threat to the good in the world as the Devil challenges Jesus. Yet we are equally reminded of the amazing strength of Jesus who did not allow the Devil in; who did something that is considered humanly impossible: he did not sin. This moment of Divinity within Christ gives us hope that our Messiah has arrived. This moment of Divinity reminds us of the second chances that God gives us in life to make the choice to follow the good. This moment of Divinity reminds us that evil can be strong in this world and offers us more hope in grace!