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Matthew 4


Freshly baptized, Jesus followed the Holy Spirit into the desert [there's lots of desert in Israel, I doubt he had to walk very far].

In the desert, Jesus refused to eat for 40 days. This made him extremely hungry. He nearly died!

[Why didn't Jesus eat anything? He was "Fasting". Fasting, like baptism, is a symbolic spiritual act (or "sacrament"). A person fasts to overcome his bodily desires while opening his spirit to divine guidance.]

The Devil showed up to taunt and tempt Jesus, whom the Devil believed to be the Son of God, "If you are so damned hungry, why don't you turn these stones into bread?"

Jesus replied, "Because I am looking for something more important than bread, I am looking for divine guidance from God, who told me last month that I'm his Son. I don't know what I'm supposed to do."

The Devil took Jesus by the hand and flew into the sky, sorta like Superman did with Margot Kidder, saying, "If you are the Son of God, why don't you let go of my hand and fall toward the ground, I'm sure God will catch you."

Jesus might've been scared, but he wisely and calmly replied, "I'm not gonna ask God to do that, he's busy. Put me down gently, please."

The Devil continued flying around in the sky, telling Jesus, "From up here we can see for miles, we can see all of Israel! You know, I could make you King of Israel, if you pledged allegiance to me. You know God won't make you King, he'll send you off on some fool's mission instead, you'll only get yourself killed."

Jesus replied, "No way! I'm loyal to my God. Leave me alone! Please put me down gently."

So, the Devil landed gently, releasing his prey, and disappeared. Afterward, some paramedic angels found Jesus starving in the desert and took him to a hospital.

-----

After recovering, Jesus heard that his good friend John had been imprisoned for sedition. Jesus decided to take John's place, and became a preacher.

Not only a preacher, but also a doctor! Everywhere he went he healed people for free. This made him extremely popular; sick people came from all around to hear him and accept his care. Jesus became so popular that the Roman Alliance took notice and began to send spies disguised as Jesus-fans to find out what was goin' on.


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