This is the third of three sonnets based upon Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness as recorded in Luke’s Gospel.
Luke 4:9-13 records the third temptation this way,
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
In each of the temptations, Jesus shows himself as standing with those whom he will save, not exempting, but successfully undergoing the trial of the heart – the revealing of the true self before God (Deut 8:2).
If it’s helpful you may listen to me read the sonnet via the player below,
Jerusalem is the destination
To look down from the Temple’s height
And using God’s promise by implication
The devil tempted with a subtle slight
“Show how precious are you to heaven’s plan;
Cast yourself down; show me your trust;
You are its center-piece, the Son of Man.
They’ll not let you fall; save you, they must.”
But he would not respond to the Tempter’s baiting
He resisted, counted himself better than none
The matter of his glory, in His Father waiting
To be lifted up, cast down, for His will to be done.
Just begun is his trial, he will yet cry from the tree
“My God, my God, why? Why hast Thou forsaken me?”
© Randall Edwards 2017.
This sonnet is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thanks.