Have you ever had a day like this?
This is Jesus, but not as we normally know him. This isn’t gentle Jesus meek and mild. This is Jesus looking hot and bothered, or tired and frazzled, or a bit down in the dumps, or just having a bad day - or is it a bad couple of days, or a bad month, a bad 40 days even?
The sun is beating down. He’s sat on some uncomfortable looking boulders, probably baking in the heat. Either he needs a couple of paracetamol, perhaps even my favourite tipple - paracetamol and codeine, or he’s having a bad hair day, or both!
I like this picture because I think it reminds us what temptation really looks like. It doesn’t look like a pantomime villain creeping up behind you to whisper wicked enticements in your ear. It looks like this.
Someone wrote to me the other day to thank me for helping her get a job. She said she would be calling round to the office with a bottle of champagne for me. I said, ‘Drink the champagne yourself with your boyfriend and your mother, because you deserve it. Just bring us your letter of appointment so that we can use it as evidence that we helped you!’
She wrote back and said, ‘My new boss seems swamped with tasks and responsibilities, and I wouldn't dare hope for a letter of confirmation. He has been the only staff the organisation has had lately, and he just has a terribly busy and worried look about him.’
Isn’t that the problem with Christians? We often have a terribly busy and worried look about us. Worrying about the church roof, and the finances, and the stewards’ rota, and goodness knows what. And in that situation the temptation - the same temptation I am sure which Jesus faced many times - is to forget about the good things.
Well, Lent is a chance to get things properly in persective.