Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of April 10, 2011
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Scriptural duels and temptation
"Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and placed
him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, 'If
you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is
written, "God will command the angels concerning you,"
and "On their hands they will bear you up, so that you
will not dash your foot against a stone."' Jesus said
to the devil, 'Again it is written, "Do not put the
Lord your God to the test."'"
Jesus is involved in a scriptural duel. He and the
devil are battling with Bible texts. Jesus is quoting
scripture always in context. The devil, however, is
using them out of context in a dangerous manner
intended for harm. The devil uses scripture to tempt
Christ. There is always enormous danger in isolating
scripture out of context. It can be quoted correctly
but with the wrong intent, with a hidden or not-so-
We see Jesus using scripture in context to accurately
reveal God's truth. He did not "proof-text," that is
using a word, a sentence, and even a paragraph out of
context to prove our cherished point of view. Often
this harms people who do not hold the same opinions.
We are to follow Christ's example of interpreting
scripture with scripture in context. This is often
easier said than done.
C. J. G. Montefiore, a noted Jewish scholar, writes
that the wilderness temptations are written in the
ancient rabbinical forms. "Jesus at each temptation
overcomes the devil by a quotation from scripture,
exactly in the rabbinical manner" (Quoted in James H.
Blackmore, "Reflections on the Temptations of Christ,"
p. 6). We do not have to be noted scholars to use
scripture quotations accurately. It takes a humble
heart and lifetime of reading, prayer, discernment,
study, and maturing. We will make mistakes. It is
part of being human. Reading all the Gospels again
and again as part of our spiritual reading will help
us grow up in God.
God, the Bible is a very big book. Teach us to read
it through the eyes and understanding of Jesus. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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