In three of the gospels Jesus goes into the desert for a time of solitude. There he is tempted by the devil to make ("magically") his own food, to test God by jumping off the top of the Temple (would God save him?), and to worship the devil in order to gain dominion over the world. Jesus systematically says no to all three invitations/temptations. Instead Jesus has a specific answer to each temptation. In fact, for the first two the devil references scripture, but for all three Jesus has a rebuttal or different scripture to counter. Jesus' identity is anchored in his Jewish ancestry, culture, society and scripture. Even more so though, Jesus is clear through all four gospels, about what kind of Jew he is.
For Mennonites today, do we know what kind of citizen and what kind of Christian we are? Our Bible can sure be quoted in a variety of ways to support anything we need to support (this includes murder, genocide, rape, financial exploitation, lying, polygamy). But do we know the parts we stand on? In our congregation do our children grow up know the importance of the Sermon on the Mount historically for Mennonites? Do we simply give in to the evil components of our nation's empire (consumerism, militarism, individualism, greed, fear, etc.), or are we able to ground ourselves into this different identity we adults have chosen to belong to? One simple way to consider our ultimate identity is to ask which comes first - God, money, country, church? Jesus knows he's a Nazarene Jew in the Roman Empire. But he also knows that his goals are far different than Rome's and than many Jews as well.
Adults can read this passage in Matthew, Mark or Luke.
Children can follow along in page 180 of Shine On, or 248 in Spark.
Choose a prayer today to recite, remember and live by:
Lords Prayer (198 in Shine On, 278 in Spark)
Psalm 23 (129 in Shine On, 160 in Spark)
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.