Thursday, January 31, 2008

Matthew, chapter 4

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
So the dove is leading him into the wilderness for a big test? If Jesus was the Messiah or even God himself then why does he need to be tested? Doesn't God know that he won't fail? Or doesn't God trust Jesus/himself? Or is this just for show again? And if the Spirit leads Jesus to the devil then isn't the devil sort of God's minion who's just doing his job?
2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
I hope he had brought some water or found a source somewhere ... And I like the laconic statement: 'He then became hungry'. No way! After having fasted for 40 days? What a surprise. On the other hand it's quite a surprise if he only got hungry on the 40th day!
3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"
A simple 'No' wouldn't have been as dramatic I guess ... And we had to cite the Old Testament again as a proof of authority, right? Jesus also kind of behaved like a politician in igonring and weaseling around the actual issue.
6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and 'ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'" 7 Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'"
Is this like the first poetry slam in history? And I bet that it's also written: YOU SHALL PICK AND CHOOSE PARTS OF BIBLE VERSES AND REMIX THEM ANEW FOR YOUR OWN NEEDS ...
8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory
How can you see all the kingdoms of the world from a very high mountain? Especially when you're on a GLOBE ... So much for their geographical knowledge. But we shouldn't be too harsh with the authors. They couldn't have the knowledge that we now have.
18 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
Yeah, don't think about your responsibilities towards your families for even one second. Just leave everything behind immediately ...
21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.Same thing here.
Don't think about your father for one second. Just leave him immediately. Oh these hippies ...
23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
Too bad we don't have that anymore today. Bad timing I guess for our sick people.


slashnull said...

Your point about Satan being just a minion of God is close to the mark. In Revelation Satan is seen as the big bad, but in the old testament and here in Matthew, Satan is just a 'tester' who works for the bossman. Just as Satan tested Job and David, so he tests Jesus, and what a surprise, Jesus passes and gets an A!

(Even if his Geography would get an F)

Daldianus said...

If we look at Job, Satan could even be described as God's betting buddy! ;)

And it's indeed interesting to see the Satan/Devil character evolve in the course of the different stories in the Bible mentioning him.