Matthew 4:1-11

A Journey Into Darkness

The Gospel lesson today is about a journey into darkness. And it begins with one of the strangest verses in all of the New Testament: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Did you hear the disconcerting juxtaposition of good and evil? Jesus our Lord was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness in order to be tempted by the devil. Now only a few chapters later Matthew recorded what is commonly referred to as the Lord’s Prayer, with its famous line, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” So we pray for deliverance from evil while at the same time it seems that the Spirit can lead us to confront it.