Exercise 23

EXERCISE 23: Overcoming self-centredness – Jesus’ Temptations


Jesus was human just like us, and tempted just like us to find quick solutions to the oppression all around Him, which so touched and enraged Him.

How often have you thought that the way to handle the oppression of bullies was through the use of force? Or some form of other visible power?

Jesus’ three temptations – however they might have really happened… – are reminders that we are too easily inclined to use the very tools of oppression that our oppressors use. Jesus’ whole life revolved around finding a radical alternative to the use of power and force against power and force.

A careful reading of all the Gospels show that, in fact, Jesus worked out such a radical alternative: it involved passive resistance, compassion, seeking justice, healing, and a radical solidarity with everyone regardless of social rank or economic status.

  • Once you have stilled yourself, read Luke 4:1-13.
  • See if you can with Jesus through that hot, dry, wilderness.
  • Watch Him struggle with the easy charismatic, political and military solutions.
  • See if He will talk to you about what is going on in His mind… What is going on in yours?
  • Can you recall moments when you have been tempted to use ‘power’ as a way to overcome evil?
  • Can you think of ways you might resist evil without resorting to evil itself?

Journal, as usual.