The Wilderness of the Candidate

The dangers of stones and pinnacles en route to a pastorate.

It's a good thing Jesus didn't have to candidate for the position of Messiah.

Being in all points tempted like as we are, however, he faced a comparable situation. He came out of seminary (so to speak) with a mighty flourish, a commencement ceremony at the river Jordan crowned by a Voice from heaven that announced to all gathered relatives, friends, and future parishioners, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." An impressive start.

Then came Satan's design to challenge and undermine everything God had said about Jesus. Had our Lord bought into the alternatives presented, he would have ceased to fulfill his calling.

When a seminary says, "These are our children, whom we certify; with them we are well pleased," it waves farewell to what it firmly believes is the new pastoral leadership of the church. Quickly following or even overlapping this event, however, is another that contrasts sharply. It is the process of candidating . . . the minister's temptation.

And unlike Jesus, ...

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