A Lenten Journey: The Wilderness Trail — Day Eight



Matthew 4:1-11, NRSV

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

One does not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,

He will command his angels concerning you,’
    and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,

Worship the Lord your God,
    and serve only him.’”

Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Sometimes I wonder
about those angels.

I’m pretty sure they
didn’t look like this one.

I’m guessing they looked a lot
like desert nomads,
carrying skins filled with water,
and dried camel meat.

But those guys don’t show up
again in the life of our Lord.
At least, we’re not told about 
any more angels — except that one
in the garden,
offering strength
in the midst of

But that is all.
After that, there will be no more 

rescue, succor, heavenly food.

The rest of this story 
is terribly earth-bound.

Thank God.

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  1. Diana,

    I’m grateful for these reflections. Thank you for sharing them!

  2. This passage always reminds me that Satan knows scripture and can try to use it against us if at all possible, just as he did with the Lord. We must be prayerfully mindful of that!
    Also, I like your version of the angels, Diana. You’re probably right! 🙂

    • I always think of that verse in Hebrews about ‘angels unaware,’ and imagine that sometimes angels just look like the rest of us!

  3. Just today learned of your accident, (always behind on reading emails and everything else), and trusting that “angels” have been coming to you in the form of caregivers and practical helpers. Thank you for persevering with your writing.

    • Yeah, it’s been a bit of a rough week. But I got the stitches out today (replaced by some lovely shiny glue) and managed to run a few errands (in sunglasses, believe me!) with my husband assisting me), so thing’s are looking up.