Sermon on Matthew 4: 1-11
- The dialogue between Jesus and the Devil.
- The suggestion of turning stones into bread.
- The picture of Jesus and the Devil standing together on the pinnacle of the Temple.
- The absurd notion that from the mountain-top they could see all the kingdoms of the earth.
The story is highly imaginative, extravagant in its imagery; it is the stuff that dreams are made of. Yet the essence of it is clear enough. There are three temptations and they correspond to the basic needs we all recognise in our lives:
- I want bread – or economic security;
- I want protection from life’s dangers – like falling from the pinnacle of the Temple;
- I want to rule the world or, in more modest terms, I want to belong – to have power or status.
Whether or not it is right in this way to find a particular significance in each of the three temptations matters little because in the end they all end up to one fundamental need – the need for security.