This Sunday we'll be reading Chapter 4 in Matthew. The focus of this chapter includes the calling of Jesus and the disciples. While this passage is often referred to as the "Temptation of Jesus," in many ways it clarifies Jesus' calling. Instead of story where God calls down to Jesus, we find a story where Jesus turns down the calls of Satan. There is the temptation to create food, to test God, and to gain the world by giving allegiance to Satan. Instead, Jesus clearly responds that we need more than food, that God cares for us without being tested, and that God along should have our allegiance. Jesus' ministry, calling, teachings, prophecy, relationships, and lifestyle all spring out of his calling from God. The very next passage has Jesus calling for the same things as John (last week's chapter), for repentance and change that ushers in and pledges allegiance to the kingdom/empire/nation of God! And then, Jesus looks for a team! A team of disciples to discover this way of building the Way of God, or love, peace, equality, justice and salvation.
In your lives, how do you feel called by God (or "un"-called by Satan)? Who do you journey with, follow, and call to join you? These are lifelong questions for everyone intentionally following Jesus.
Here's a prayer to keep reciting and memorizing this Advent season:
46 And Mary* said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’