Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Babbling Idiot Alert!

So I was starting at a piece of pumpkin flavored cheesecake earlier and contemplating the nature of temptation.

If you don't want something, it doesn't tempt you.

Temptation is wanting something, but knowing that there are reasons why having it is wrong.

Consider Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13, and (briefly mentioned) Mark 1:12-13.

Satan challenges Christ to prove his divinty by turning stones to bread. Now, Christ has been fasting for 40 days and nights. I think the possibilty would already have occured to him. Plus, he just survived over a month with no food or water (no masturbation either, if you want to be pedantic) so it's pretty clear that he is more than human. No mention is made whether or not he is actually hungry. So this may have been some temptation, but it can only be attributed to Satan if Christ is a moron.

Satan challenges Christ to put his divinity to the test by jumping off a cliff. Again, not temptation. Christ has just been bapitzed by John the Baptist, has received proof in the form of a dove, and is confident in his divinity. He has nothing to prove. Especially not to Satan.

Finally,Satan offers Christ the world. Still not temptation. Christ is at the beginning of his carrer and full of the "Spirit." At that point, his mind is filled by his "mission" and it is very unlikely that he is interested. Also, Christ knows this is Satan. If someone you know (who isn't rich) offers you a million dollars to do something vaguely unpleasant, does it even cross your mind that the offer is serious? Does the offer tempt you? No, of course not.

If you want to talk temptation, right around Matthew 26:36-56, when Christ was asking God if he really had to go through with it, Satan should have shown up and said, "Hey, kid, I can get you out of this."

That would have been temptation.

Anyway, back to the cheesecake. It was delicious.


3 people have spouted off:

phil said...

I think there is a distinct difference between temptation caused by an inanimate object and temptation received from a person (or Satan).

I can get very hungry before I am aware of it because I am too focused on something else - reading or just about anything else that could keep my attention for a long time.

When the sight of food tempts me, it is only my own desire in action. But if someone presents me with food knowing that I am hungry, they are consciously bringing my hunger to my attention, thereby tempting me. There is a difference.

After fasting for 40 days, Jesus would certainly been very hungry. His flesh was fully human. There must have been some divine power keeping him alive, but there is no suggestion that this would keep him from hunger. He may have been tempted by the sight, smell, or thought of food earlier, but Satan consciously tempted him. This is not like some church lady saying that she was tempted by the devil to eat some chocolate. Satan was there in the flesh offering food even if it was just the suggestion of turning rocks to bread.

John said...
I disagree. Christ could have turned stones into bread, or just created food out of thin air, at any time. I can't see Satan's double-dog-dare (with a cherry on top) adding to the temptation.

But whatever, I'm not in the mood to argue about mythology anyway. Maybe later.
11/8/06, 6:44 PM
jackal said...

I don't know about 40-day fasts, but after fasting for a few days, the hunger pretty much goes away. It's the actual food and everyone eating around you that makes you want to eat. The idea of making rocks into bread probably wouldn't do much, because they're just rocks. The idea of harvesting wheat and making a delicious loaf of whatever Jesus enjoyed cooking would have been much more compelling.