The Sunday gospel lectionary reading for Lent 1 in Year C is Luke 4.1–13, Luke’s account of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. The 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tested by Satan offers us the pattern for the Lenten period—though it is worth noting at the outset both that the figure 40 in Scripture is often taken as an approximate or symbolic number meaning ‘a significant period’ (the Exodus wanderings actually lasted 42 years) and that the 40 days of Lent don’t include the Sundays, which remain as feast days on which we are exempt from Lenten disciplines. So don’t forget where you stashed all that chocolate…!
Here, James and I discuss the issues around Luke’s distinctive introduction and conclusion to this episode, why the temptations are in a different order, and what are the implications for our reading, interpretation, and preaching.
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