The World, The Flesh, and The Devil


Poor reflections on yesterday's readings.

The temptation--the three basic forms of separation from God--the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The flesh is the first temptation and the one to which nature most naturally inclines people. Food is a good thing, it is a necessary thing, but it is neither the best thing nor the one thing necessary. Satan tempts Jesus to use His legitimate power in an illegitimate way. Why change stones to bread to satisfy mere appetite? Bread can be bought or made -- the use of Divine power is squandering for the sake of a trifle.

The Devil is the initiator of all temptation--but this second of temptations is, in fact, the essence of temptation. "Throw yourself down" is a temptation that presents no real good or award whatsoever. It is the invitation to pride and doubt. Should Jesus undertake the action, he acts in pride. Should henot undertake it, then He might begin to think about the situation and wonder about the efficacy of God's power. No legitimate good can come from this action. It seeks merely to test or prove what is already known--God cares for all His people.

The world is the last of the three--Jesus is shown the grand splendor of creation and offered dominion over it if only He will renounce His father. Now, why would this present even the slightest temptation to Christ? He is already master of all creation. Everything belongs to Him, how can He be tempted by it? The temptation is presented for us as a completion of the instruction that might be had from the episode in the Life of the Savior, but it is also presented to show us how poorly Satan understands the nature of God. He seeks to drive a wedge between father and Son as though they are separate entities. But they are not. They are separate persons sharing one will. Thus, we are instructed that right knowledge is an important part of recognizing who and what we are and Who and What Jesus Christ is.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 14, 2005 8:54 AM.

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