Jesus' Test

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“Daddy, don’t!” “Just a little...” I said, as I kept reaching towards my goal. “No, don’t,” he insisted. And then with a pause to add seriousness and solemnity to the whole thing, he added, “I’ll tell mama!” Jonah and Marie, our house helper in Cameroon, were making cookies of some sort in the kitchen. Jonah was about 6 years old, and he had caught me in the act. I was trying to steal some of the cookie dough. I like cookie dough. A lot. And so there is a sense in which, the temptation that prompted me to reach for the dough was real. On the other hand, my interest was at least partially feigned because I wanted him to feel that his cookie dough was at least as good as mama’s. There are times that when mama makes cookies, I become a different person. Not all of them, but one in particular. They are a very light shortbread cookie, that when cooked, quite literally melt in your mouth. But in their pre-baked form, as dough, eating it is nothing short of ecstasy. For that, I will skulk. For that, I will connive and sneak. For that I will plan my theft. Telephonic distractions. Pseudo-crises calling her away from the kitchen. Bribing a child into weeping, so that she’ll come running, ever so briefly abandoning the dough. These are just some of the tactics I have implemented over the years to get at the dough, that precious temptation, which I am forbidden to touch. The temptation is so great, I can’t help myself. What’s in a temptation? I guess that is a different matter for everyone, but what was temptation for Jesus? Can he even be tempted? Was it real? Was he pretending for our sake?

Pr. Luther