Today’s Gospel is the familiar story of the 3 temptations of Christ. The world in which Jesus lived deeply believed in spirits who mainly went about capriciously interfering in people’s lives. Americans, in general, don’t believe that spirits cause them any problems. This cultural conviction is what made the comedian Flip Wilson’s character, Geraldine, so funny as she often resorted to her favorite excuse: “the Devil made me do it!” Americans, in general, do understand power. They especially understand and resent abuse of power by those who should wield it for the benefit of others. In the Gospels, Jesus wields no power at all except in regard to spirits. Viewed from this perspective, the story of Jesus’ refusal to abuse the power He had offers Americans something very relevant to ponder.