“When he calls on me, I will answer him.”
The scholars ask us to keep in mind Matthew’s delight in reminding his readers, both Jew and Gentile, of the many connections between what we call the Old Testament, and what Jesus said and did.
Israel is often termed God’s people, the chosen ones, even given the title ‘Son’ in a collective manner. Signs of love were exchanged; a covenant was entered into and much of this is recorded in the book of Deuteronomy. The three scripture quotes used by Jesus are all from that book. Underpinning this relationship is the expectation that whereas a father may discipline a son, the son is not entitled to test the father.
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah (Deut. 6:16).
Many scripture scholars suggest that in a biblical sense, the gospel passage today ought to be headed ‘the testing of God’s Son’. Remember those words from Hebrews 4:15 “…who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.” Where Israel in the wilderness failed, Jesus passes every test and, indeed, turns the tables so that the Devil, in a sense, finds himself tested.
Jesus really answered the call of his Father.
Lent stirs us to reflect yet again and find ways to answer God when he calls us.