Thursday, March 15, 2012

Notes on Mark: Tempted in the Wilderness

MARK 1:12-13
Jesus faces the same ordeal that Adam and Israel endured in the OT (CCC 538-540). He is thus tempted by Satan among the wild beasts, as the first Adam was tempted amid the beasts in paradise. He likewise retraces the steps of Israel, being led into the wilderness by the Spirit and tested for forty days as the Israelites marched in the desert for 40 years of testing. In the end, Jesus succeeds where Adam and Israel failed by resisting the devil and proving his filial love for the Father. This initiates an extended campaign against demons, death, and disease throughout the Gospel (1:25, 31, 34; 2:11; 3:5; 5:13, 39-41).

Morally: (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Matt. 13), Jesus endured temptation to train his disciples how to overcome the devil. No one should be surprised, then, that after our own Baptism the tempter assails us more aggressively than before. Victory is assured if, like Jesus, we commit ourselves to fasting, wait upon the Lord with patience, and have no desire for things beyond our need.
The Gospel of Mark
(The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible)
by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch
I just love all those parallels between Jesus' temptation and the Old Testament. So obvious when pointed out but so hard to see when I am just reading along.

Also it is a good reminder that if Jesus suffered from temptation, so then will I. It is much easier to take when we see what is pointed out here.
No sooner was the glory of the hour of the Baptism over than there came the battle of the temptations. One thing stands out here in such a vivid way that we cannot miss it. It was the Spirit who thrust Jesus out into the wilderness for the testing time. The very Spirit who came upon him at his baptism now drove him out for his test.

In this life it is impossible to escape the assault of temptation; but one thing is sure -- temptations are not sent to to us to make us fall; they are sent to strengthen the nerve and the sinew of our minds and hearts and souls. They are not meant for our ruin, but for our good. They are meant to be tests from which we emerge better warriors and athletes of God.
The Gospel of Mark
(The Daily Bible Series*, rev. ed.)

by William Barclay
* Not a Catholic source and one which can have a wonky theology at times, but Barclay was renowned for his authority on life in ancient times and that information is sound.

2 comments:

  1. So why did Jesus teach us to pray "...lead us not into temptaton..."

    Richard P
    De Pere, WI

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  2. I have heard a variety of thinking on this. Which all happen to be fairly well summed up in this article.

    ReplyDelete