Today I decided to look at the Revised Common Lectionary readings for a writing prompt, and I found the verses above. I think most church-goers are familiar with the story of John baptizing Jesus as well as with the story of Jesus's temptation in the wilderness. But I'm not sure I've ever thought about the two being connected.
As soon as Jesus receives the Holy Spirit and is affirmed as God's son, the Spirit sends him out to endure forty days of temptation. Wow. What if we did that in our churches? "Congratulations on your baptism! We're glad you decided to show us that you've accepted Christ. Now, just to make sure, we're going to toss you in the desert for close to a month and a half of Satanic temptation. Relax, you'll do fine..."
I have to say I'm glad we don't do this! However, I think God wants us to know we could handle it if we had to. See 1 Corinthians 10:13 for the evidence: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
Remember that when you feel tempted. Jesus went through it, and he came out without giving in. God gives us a way out and won't let us endure more than we can handle. We, too, are His beloved sons and daughters. Hang in there!
© Laura M. Botts, 2012