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 devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. –Luke 4: 1-2, NRSV
People in Jesus’ homeland wanted a certain kind of kingdom. Interestingly, Jesus’ temptations play off these desires. Would he be what they imagined? Would he be the king they were starved for? So Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting. Fasting is a way to discern true hunger from the false –and it’s the false hunger we should fear. Would Jesus be what God wanted, or would he give in to his contemporaries’ images? –Anthony Chvala-Smith, The Kingdoms in Our Heads
- How do you discern true hunger from false hunger? What “unanalyzed hunger” needs your attention?
- What images or expectations from others currently impact your behavior? When you imagine your true self in God, what do you discover?
- Read Luke 4:1-13. Which of the temptations of Jesus relate to images of self you are invited to release? For additional reflection on this story, see p.4 of “Sacred Restraint: A Spiritual Companion for the Lenten Desert.”