I was reading the account of the temptations of Jesus this week. It is easy to think you know all there is to know about such a familiar passage. We can easily run through such readings without thinking. I wasn’t concerned so much about Satan; in fact I wasn’t interested in him at all. I focussed on the question Jesus was wrestling with, which although put in the mouth of Satan, was one he struggled with through this time of preparation before announcing the arrival of the Kingdom: ‘If you are the Son of God…’ Jesus needed to be sure about who he was before he embarked on the mission before him. This was essential in order for him to remain focussed and determined to see it through to the end, especially when it became really tough and the temptation to give up and walk away must have been strong. Was his purpose about who he was, what he could do or even claim as his by right; or was it about submitting to the Father in order to achieve the purposes of Father, Son and Spirit? When he said, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only,” he had reached a resolution of this question which enabled him to fulfil the mission. It was about submitting to the Godhead. We also have to answer the question of who we are. What does it mean to be named, ‘Christian’? Is it ‘all about me, Jesus’ or submitting to him in our lives? And what does it mean to submit to Jesus? If we can begin to answer these questions, we will experience the peace of Christ and grow as his followers. Just as Jesus found the answer in prayer and the Word of God, so can we.

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