According to biblical scholars, Jesus was baptized at age 30. That is a much older age than we are accustomed to being baptized in the 2021st century. Jesus asked his cousin, John the Baptist, to perform the sacrament. John was a well-known preacher and baptized people regularly. John knew about Jesus’ gift and he was not comfortable baptizing Jesus. Jesus convinced him and the rest is history!
Before Jesus began His ministry He was led by the spirit into the wilderness and tempted for forty days. The temptations that Jesus faced were materialism, hedonism and egotism. Most of us read those three words and can say WOW! All three temptations are alive and well in our society! The forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness helped Him understand what earthly beings faced. He mirrored for us what it looks like to overcome that temptation.
These forty days of Lent are given to all of us as a gift to annually reflect on what’s really important on our journey. For our children, maybe it is the overzealous want of a toy or video system, the idolization of an iconic sports or movie star or a little too much self-pride has gotten in the way. When we ask them to prayerfully reflect, we are supporting their success to resist those temptations on their journey. As we mirror love, compassion and self-acceptance, they too will grow closer to God.
May this Lenten season bring us all closer to the one that teaches us to love unconditionally! This week’s Sunday School lesson includes: flying doves for baptism, object lessons and experiments about temptation. Always remember that your wilderness will become a highway to something better!