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Be off, Satan! For Scripture says, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone'

Matthew 4:10
Genesis 2:7-9;3:1-7; Psalms 51:3-6,12-13,17; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

Sermon Week/Year

First Sunday of Lent, A

There was a young seminarian who was taking a pre-ordination oral examination. During the questioning, one of the examiners asked him if he believed in a personal devil. “No,” he replied, “I do not believe in the devil.” Hearing this, the examiners began to discuss the seminarian’s fitness for ordination. They were on the verge of disqualifying him when one of the older faculty members spoke up: “Don’t worry about this young man’s present position on whether or not the devil exists. This whole thing will take care of itself. After working in a church for a few weeks he’ll change his mind.”

In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus withdraws to the desert wilderness for a long prayer retreat. There He is put to the test when he encounters Satan who offers Him the ultimate in power, money and creature comforts. The offer is conditional, of course: Jesus is to acknowledge Satan as supreme being. “I will give You all these if You fall at my…

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