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ESV: Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary

« Humility | Main | Valentine 14 February, Priest & Martyr »

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Teresa

This also fits with the religious authorities of Jesus' time continuously trying to use their religious authority to divert him from his mission and conform to their plans for his message.

Imagine if he had been swayed by their authority and scriptural knowledge.

Monk-in-Training

Yes, I really like Jason's take on the issue.

Another way of looking at it, is that we are created or called to be a certain something, a certain human. The Tempter lures us away from being the authentic Human that God made us to be. This concept connects both with the Genesis story and Christ's story.

Teresa

Jason,

THAT is a very cogent way of putting it, and helps a lot.

It jives with what we know of Christ before this event, AND what we know of him later...

...(I bet he was thinking of that moment of temptation in Gethsemene and wondering, even for the breifest moment in his dispair, if he should have taken the devil's deal)

Jason Barr

How true. Isn't that so related to the first sin in Genesis 3, that the fruit looked good and in fact was good - it had to be, it was a part of creation that God had pronounced "very good" (as was the serpent, a minor detail that most people seem to not notice), as Eve saw, it was good for gaining wisdom - presumably a good thing.

But what was for all appearances a good thing turned out to be very, very bad because it was used in a way not in concert with God's expressed will. Adam and Eve were called to rule and subdue the creation, and they failed to put the serpent back in its place - with cataclysmic consequences.

In a similar way, the temptation for Christ was that he would get everything he was supposed to get anyway - as the promised Messiah he was to be the one who established the Lord's reign over all the kingdoms and nations of the earth. But it would have been getting a good thing the wrong way.

See Yoder's discussion of Christ's temptations in The Politics of Jesus, it's one of the best treatments I've seen.

Jesus came not to show power by taking political power for himself, but by being utterly defeated and killed by the power - and then rising from the dead to demonstrate the true victory, and so bringing his followers, the church, into that communion of fellowship that rejects the power structures of the world in favor of the way of Christ - trusting that God will vindicate and redeem, even unto death.

Much easier said than done.

Monk-in-Training

Hi David,
Welcome back, good to see ur blog is back.

mmm creampuffs...OH gave that up for Lent!

Teresa

David,

mmm...creampuffs...

but seriously...it is the nature of...nature...to disguise good as bad and bad as good.

Creation itself does so...with edible (beneficial) species resembling poisionous ones, and defensless species resembling venemous ones.

Discernment is a survival skill. Spiritually, Mentally and Physically.

But just to lighten things up...a little mnemonic device I taught my ids to help then remember the difference between "poisonous" and "venemous"...

If you bite it, and you die, it was poisonous. If it bites you and you die, it's venemous.

David Richardson

Hey, monk. Good post.

It made me think of a quote by Billy Sunday: "One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake."

p.s. My blog is now back up and running.

Teresa

Monk,

I still don't know, As a young man, Jesus is described as knowing exactly who he was, and his purpose.

Think of when he was little and his parents couldn't find him at the temple...he rebuked his mother for her worry by replying "I was in my father's house"...

...not the actions of an ordinary human child.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but it still rings strange to me.

It doesn't seem like he should have been tempted by anything avilable on earth, or under the devil's command.

especially when the deal offered starts with "jump off this here cliff, wouldja? I wanna see the angels catch ya."

I'd say by that time, ol' nick had lost some of his game.

:-)

Monk-in-Training

Teresa,
You know that is a good point, but we are looking at it with eyes of knowing how it all ended. At the time of the Temptation, Jesus was in His human form, and I believe that whatever the thing was, the Adversary dangled in front of Jesus' eyes, He had to, in some way, desire it. I mean it only makes sense, as u say the deal you mentioned above really isn't tempting at all! :)

Teresa

then again, it's hard to believe that Jesus would have been tempted by the crown given him by the devil, since he is prophasied to wear an eternal crown.

It would be like someone saying "I'll give you a free car if you sign away this deed to a magic carpet"...not really a temptation in the end.

Although the temptation to turn stones into bread after forty days in the wilderness would be more understandable! :-)

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