The Raceless Gospel podcast provides listeners with a seven-episode Lenten series focused on the testing of Jesus. “Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3” offers a weekly meditation for the journey, beginning today.
More than a soundcheck, it is an opportunity to consider more fully the call to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Each episode aims to get your attention. The Lenten podcast series offers a reminder that Christians must have “ears to hear” what the Spirit is saying, namely that one’s calling comes with testing.
The series is named for the three temptations of Jesus in the wilderness: bake sale for Satan, sky dive if you are who you say you are, and all these kingdoms can be yours for the low, low price of Satanic worship. It’s the “New Revised Starlette Version” of scripture.
Speaking of The Message, Eugene Peterson rightly poses the question we must ask ourselves, “The popularized acronym WWJD (‘What would Jesus do?’) is not quite accurate. The question must be, ‘How does Jesus do it?’” Each time, Jesus uses scripture to win the argument and the battle over his body.
In the wilderness, we witness the importance of scripture. These holy words are not stuck on paper but in between Jesus’ teeth and are effortlessly picked out, leaving the devil sucking his teeth.
Unlike the familiar celebration of calls to ministry and to churches with cake and punch in the church’s fellowship hall, the devil is Jesus’ welcome committee. There is no “honeymoon” period, and I know it’s been a long time between now and season three, but I hope you still love me and see me as your podcast pastor.
It’s not quite season four of the podcast, but we’re getting close. We’ll walk with Jesus during his times of testing and be assured that we are in good company when we experience our own.
Not the savior we imagined. Not the hero we would have scripted. Still, Jesus hears God calling him “my beloved son,” evidence of their relationship. But it, too, will be tested.
This Lenten season, we are not only attempting to step on the heels of Jesus. But his cross should stump our toes. Yet, if we are honest, these little piggies don’t want to go down Calvary’s road.
Still, the message of the gospel and the call of Christ’s disciple is death, a lifelong funeral procession, that is self-mortification. Jesus extends his hand and says, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
With this calling, there will always be a time of testing, testing to ensure that we can hear, testing to make certain that we are clear on who we are and who God has called us to be.
Because, truth be told, we want all the world has to offer. Consequently, turning down the devil will require Francois Fenelon’s confession: “We say we want to forget the world, but in the depths of our hearts, we do not want to be forgotten by it.”
So, we understand what Jesus is experiencing. He is tested beyond belief, tested to see if he would cheat to become savior of the world.
No easy answers, Jesus is tested in the wilderness by the devil, tested by his disciples, tested by the crowd and the ruling authorities. How would you or I fill in their blank stares or the conversation bubble above their heads?
Christian discipleship is not meant to test our patience but our principles, namely Jesus’ teachings. The Raceless Gospel podcast’s “Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3” invites listeners to remember Jesus’ call to ministry and to reconsider their own on this Lenten journey.
Episode one is available now at Good Faith Media’s website and wherever you prefer to listen to podcast.