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1st Sunday in Lent, Year B

The Temptation of Jesus in the Desert

 


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Welcome every body to the beginning of our journey for this Lenten season. Today is the first Sunday of Lent in Year B, and so we’re going to be journeying this year through the season of Lent, of course, with the gospel of Mark. And you might have noticed over the years, that every year at Lent, the first Sunday of Lent is always the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. That story is recorded in all three synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And so today the Church is going to begin with the gospel reading being Mark's account of the temptation, and the first thing you’re going to notice about Mark's account of the temptation is that it is by far the shortest, right. So most of us are probably a little more familiar with Matthew and Luke's account of Jesus’ temptations, in which they catalog three temptations of Jesus, in which he dialogues with the devil, quoting Scripture to Satan, and then, you know, Satan departs and leaves him for a time. Mark tells us about Jesus's time in the desert, but he does so in a much more brief fashion. However, I hope you’ve seen already in our study of Mark, that just because Mark is shorter, doesn't mean that it's less meaningful. It doesn't mean that there’s less there to examine, less there to study. In fact, sometimes Mark does a remarkable amount with very few verses. That's definitely the case here with the story of the temptation of Jesus. So let's read his account and then we’ll unpack it. In Mark 1:12 and following, immediately after the account of Jesus' baptism by John in the Jordan River, Mark says this....

 

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