Patience thanked the Master’s mother and walked away. Once out of sight, he shed his human form and rose into the air.
His flight took him instantly from Nazareth to the top of snowy Mount Hermon. Though eager to do the Almighty’s bidding, it wasn’t yet time, so he watched from afar and waited, the high-altitude gale thrashing his feathers.
“Look around, Yeshua.” The adversary swept his ugly lizard arms in arcs before him. “See the kingdoms of the world. All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship Me.” Arrogance coated Satan’s raspy voice. Yes, he was ruler of the earth. But after all these eons, it still astonished Patience that Satan discounted Who was Creator.
Leaning into the wind, Yeshua pointed toward the Great Sea. His eyes blazed. “Away with you, Satan! Scripture says, ‘Worship Yahweh your God, and serve only Him.’”
Satan departed, spewing hostility.
With the adversary’s retreat, Yeshua’s shoulders slumped. He closed His eyes and shivering violently, toppled into the snow with a soft thump. In his weakened bodily state, the spiritual battle he’d just endured had drained Him beyond expectation.
Patience hurried to his beloved Master’s side and lifted Him into a warm, loving embrace. Then he flew – away from the snow and the wind.
The other guardians met Patience in a grassy glade beside Banias Spring, where they quenched Yeshua’s thirst with clear water.
When the Master had rested sufficiently beneath a tree, they each produced their contribution for His feast. It would be a simple meal, for humans must not eat heavy food when breaking a long fast. Serenity had a soft goat cheese and fresh figs. The folds of Cheer’s sash yielded ripe green olives. Patience added the round loaf of bread and a small lidded crock.
Yeshua smiled in gratitude. He lifted the bread, broke it and raised the halves toward heaven. “Blessed are You, O My Father, who brings forth bread from the earth.”
The angels sat in a half-circle before their Master. Patience pushed the crock across the grass.
“Open it and see.”
Taking the little vessel, Yeshua lifted its lid. His sparkling eyes turned toward Patience and he grinned. “Is this my mother’s pomegranate jelly?”
The angel nodded. “I changed into human form and went to her. She gave me bread and sent that too. ‘Something special from home.’ she said.”
Without hesitation, Yeshua spread a piece of bread with jelly. “Ah, with Mama’s food, I am home indeed.” His murmurs of pleasure as he ate caused chuckles to rise from the little glade.
When Yeshua’s feast ended, Serenity leaned forward and said, “Master, we wanted to stay with you these forty days but the Almighty said, ‘No.’ Why did You need to fast alone this time? What was accomplished?”
Yeshua pulled up His knees to rest His forearms on them. “It was redemption that was accomplished.
Patience frowned, not understanding. The faces of the other angels reflected his confusion.
“Remember the three temptations Satan used on Adam? The Tree of Knowledge appeared good as food, a desire of the flesh. He trapped him into believing the fruit would make him wise. That was a pretense of life. The Tree's fruit was also beautiful, a delight to behold, stimulating a desire of the eyes. Since Adam’s yielding to temptation, humanity is enslaved to these types of sin.
“Today Satan saw My hunger. He said, ‘Change these stones to bread.’ Then he tempted Me to prove My deity. ‘If you are the Son of God, jump.’ Finally he showed Me the whole beautiful world and said, ‘I will give You all this if You’ll only worship me.’ He lured Me with a desire of flesh, a pretense of life and a desire of the eyes.
“By defeating him in battle today, I’ve redeemed the bitterness of Adam’s sin and given the world a hope far sweeter than Mama’s jelly.” He gestured toward the crock. “I’ve shown humanity there’s power to push Satan away – even when severely weakened. Moreover, every temptation I resist in the future will prove Me worthy to be their sinless Savior. And when My mission is fully accomplished, mankind will no longer need to be enslaved to sin.”
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