THE CANAAN NEWS NETWORK.
"Welcome to CNN, the Canaan News Network!"
The smiling news anchorman peers into the camera. "This is Nightly News Tonight. I'm Dan Beersheba, filling in for the vacationing Peter Jeconiah."
The newsman turns, still smiling, and faces another camera. "Our top story tonight: A scandal is brewing in the wilderness of Judea." A box appears on the screen over the newsman's left shoulder, depicting a map of Israel with a circle around the wilderness of Judea. "Jesus of Nazareth, a man whom some say possesses mysterious powers, was baptized yesterday in the river Jordan by his cousin John, the fiery preacher whom some call a prophet."
A video appears onscreen of a bearded man baptizing another bearded man. "Unidentified sources report that after the brief ceremony, a dove descended from the sky and landed on this Jesus' head, followed by a peal of thunder that some said was the voice of Yahweh, the God of Israel."
The smiling newsman's image appears again. "However," he says, "those same sources report that Jesus of Nazareth has now disappeared into the Judean wilderness, where he will spend the next forty days and nights fasting and . . . being tempted by the devil! If these reports are true, the scandal of actually being tempted to sin will certainly destroy Jesus' credibility as a religious and spiritual leader and may even result in."
The newsman lifts his hand to his earpiece and pauses in mid-sentence. "What? What's that?" He stares uncertainly at the camera for a moment, apparently listening to his earpiece. He clears his throat. "Uh, it seems that, er, our report is a bit hasty. Our, um, sources tell us there is nothing shameful or scandalous about being tempted." He clears his throat again and chuckles nervously. "It seems that Jesus' credibility as a religious and spiritual leader would only be affected if he were to actually, give in to temptation. And ... no reliable source ... has reported such an event."
He inhales deeply. "In our next story, environmentalists picket the activities of John the Baptist after these messages."
REFLECT: Do you think being tempted is a sin? If so, do you think Jesus sinned simply by being tempted? If not, what's the difference between temptation and sin? Are you ever tempted? How? How should you respond when you're tempted?
PRAY: "God, thank you for showing me the difference between temptation and sin. Help me not to give in to temptation, especially when I'm tempted to... [use bad language, do the wrong thing just because my friends are doing it, etc.].'