He shall give His angels charge over you- Our Temptation and Christ

Commenting on Satan’s temptation to Christ,

“Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Luke 4. 9-11.

“Satan then made use of these verses, as though the Saviour were a common man. For being entirely darkness, and having his mind blinded, he understood not the force of what was said, that the psalm is spoken in the person of every just man who is aided by the Highest, even the God of heaven. And besides this, He knew not that the Word being God, was made man, and was Himself now being tempted in accordance with the plan of salvation. He therefore, as I said, supposed the words were spoken as of a common man, or oven as of one of the holy prophets. But it is monstrous for us, who accurately know the mystery, and believe that He is God and the Son of God, and that for our sakes He became man like unto us, to imagine that the verses were spoken of Him. To say then, “Thou hast made the Most High thy refuge,” befits not the person of the Saviour. For He is Himself the Most High: the refuge of all: the hope of all: the all-powerful right hand of the Father: and whosoever has made Him his defense, no evil shall approach him. For He shall command the angels, who are ministering spirits, to guard the just. For just as our fathers in the flesh, when they see the path rough and impassable, catch up their infants in their hands, lest perchance their tender feet should be hurt, being as yet unable to walk over the hard road, so also the rational powers do not permit those, who are as yet unable to labour, and whose understanding is still childish, to toil beyond their strength, but snatch them out of every temptation.” St. Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 12 on Luke.

As we entering into the lenten ascetic season in its earnest, we see that Christ’s temptation is an aid to us. He is tempted as we are, having become truly human. He overcomes within and for us. Moreover, we are reassured that the temptation of Christ does reveal the love and care God has for us. He will aid us in our temptations and as a loving Father, He will guard us. Let us entrust ourselves to Him as we break the chains of sin that bind us and result in our psychological and existential distress. As we cut away the chains of sin, we realize that the Life in Christ is simply Life and this is how we can obtain the peace and joy we so desperately search for in the world and never find.

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