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Making A Comeback

The Spirit sent Jesus out toward the desert. He stayed in the wasteland forty days, put to the test there by Satan
Mark 1:12-15

Sermon Topic Temptation

Sermon Week First Sunday of Lent Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 1:12


According to an old rabbinical story...

In a small East European country there lived a pious Jewish lad who wanted to become a Rabbi. He walked several miles each day, to and from the synagogue, for his Scripture lessons. Between the boy's home and the synagogue there stood a fruit stand, owned by an atheist. Whenever the boy walked past the fruit stand, the owner would taunt him about his faith. "Where are you going, young man, to see God again?" he would ask. Or, "Did you find God in good health today?" The boy always continued on his way, never answering. One day, in an effort to evoke a response, the nonbeliever selected the biggest, shiniest apple from his stand and said to the young man as he passed by, "You are wasting your time studying about God. I will give you this apple if you tell me where God is." The boy stopped, reflected for a moment, then replied, "I will give you two apples if you will tell me where He is not."

Recently, someone gave that story a new twist, simply by changing one word in the non-believer's challenge. Instead of "I'll give you this apple if you'll tell me where God is," he says, I'll give you this apple if you'll tell me where Satan is." To which the boy now replies, "I'll give you two apples if you'll tell me where Satan is not." It could be that whoever rendered the new version had in mind the story of Jesus' temptation in the desert. "The Spirit sent Jesus out toward the desert," Mark tells us in today's Gospel Lesson. "He stayed in the wasteland forty days, put to the test by Satan" (Mk.l:12). But the new twist to the old story is timely today for still another reason:

Satan is Making a Comeback!

Within recent years, Satan has been featured in several best-selling novels and block-buster movies. He fathered "Rosemary's Baby." He turned on movie audiences as he did battle with the "Exorcist" (twice)-and many people declared him the winner. In the film called [...]

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