In my paper I will examine Lukes gospel about Jesus temptation in wilderness. First by applying Bakers Dictionary of Christian Ethics I will examine the meaning of the word temptation, and how it’s being used in bible. Second I will shortly explain nature of temptation and why it was unique. Third I will examine Mathews Gospel of Jesus temptation by applying Christopher Morse perspective and see how it could be applied to community that lived in first century. Fourth I will examine Jesus response to Devil and the message that Luke’s was sending to a community through his gospel about Jesus temptation in wilderness. Fourth applying Encyclopedia of Religion (EOF) I will explain how temptation can be applied to modern community and how modern progress and economy changed the perception about temptation. Fifth I will expand on how temptation of modern community related to consumption. Finally I will compare how community that Matthew wrote for similar to the modern one, also I will explain how they different and why some values and principals can’t be applied to modern community same way it was applied two thousand years ago.
Meaning of the Temptation
Before start studying the passage of the temptation of Jesus, we must understand the meaning of word temptation. Origin word temptation comes from translation of Greek peirázÅ which means test or temptation. Temptation is not simply good or bad; it is a word that according to Bakers dictionary of Christian ethics temptation is used differently in bible at least in four different ways. First it’s Enticement to Sin, often used in bible to describe Devils action such as testing human on their faithfulness to god by tempting them to do evil. In regards when one is tempted to do evil and put responsibility on God, James states in his gospel 1:13 according to which explains that blame for human’s sin should become their own responsibility. Second is Man testing god, often people say god give a sign, or if there was a god he won’t let my friend die, however in (Matt-. 4:6-7) it is clear that we shall no put god to test. Explanation to why one should not put god to test can be explain by looking at Corinthians 10:9 where states whoever test God will be destroyed. Third way temptation occurs in bible it when God put people to the test. According to new dictionary of theology God test people on their fidelity for him. Expanding on Gods test to people one must see gods temptation – is not a punishment, but the test, for one whom God wants to use for his own purposes (Deuteronomy 8:16.). Fourth and final variation temptation mention is the Overcoming Temptation or how one can avoid temptation to do sin. In Bakers Dictionary of Christian Ethics lays clear explanation that by overcoming temptation to sin once, person become more capable of doing it next time.
Examination of details that Apply to Jesus temptation
Before proceeding to the detailed analysis of the story of the temptation, it is necessary to examine the few following details. First Jesus used his human nature to resist the temptation this explain his hunger in desert. Second the nature of temptation is such that they could only come to the one who has a totally unique authority and power, 4:3 this should explain importance Jesus battle against devil. Third whoever reads this story must understand that Matthew used Q source to create this gospel. This explains the details Mathew know about what happened during Jesus temptation. Finally this gospel of Jesus temptation should always be approached with reverence, because it reveals Jesus recesses of his soul and his heart, and because, Mathew Gospel shows through despite the struggle Jesus was able to resist Devil.
Temptation of Jesus
Gospel temptation of Jesus starts in 4.1-4.2 where Mathew describes how Jesus was taken to wilderness by Spirit and tempted there by Devil for forty days, and had nothing to eat. According to Christopher Morse perspective that in this type of setting Jesus was definitely hungry, which he explained that just like hunger real temptation can’t be turn off. Which might explain the point Luke was trying to deliver to Christians, just like our human nature that can’t live without food same way it can’t avoid temptation. In response to Luke’s Gospel 4.3 Christopher Morse writes that Jesus being in situation where he is hungry worries more about his spiritual condition rather than physical. To answer the question why Jesus refuse to turn stones to loaf of bread when he fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread (Lk.9 :12-17) and four thousand with seven loaves (Mf.15 :32-38) one must understand that Jesus only used his miraculous power for salvation of others. Also it shows that Jesus experience same physical feeling, as would any other man by being in similar settings.
Now let’s examine why In Luke’s gospel Jesus responded to devil using Deuteronomy 8:3, and what was the important lesson it had for Christians that lived during the time it was written. Importance of that respond can be explained in bible in few different ways. First because if one is always concentrate on his physical needs it might make him no different than animal. Second, one should always choose word of the god, because it is the only real treasure that can save peoples soul. Pursuing further let’s see how temptation and hunger can be applied to modern community.
Modern community and Temptation
In order to understand how and why modern community might view Mathews Gospel of Jesus temptation differently first one must understand the settings humans live now. Certainly lifestyle, principles and values for modern humanity are different to the ones that Mathew wrote for; however temptation that people facing now still topical more than ever. Now let’s examine modern humanity value, principles, settings and how in modern age, temptation becomes part of one everyday life. According to TEOC the term Temptation in today’s human oriented terminology is being used deficiently. For instance TEOC argue that in modern parlance the term temptation refers as a, “Temporary breakdown in orientation that either inner developmental process or external factors appear to make necessary.” This can be explaining by applying observation that is discussed in EOR, it states that modern society create the culture where primary value of life is to have rather than to be.” Further EOR explains that modern society live in world where educational system based around the success, with a economic system that promotes consumption. This certainly explains why western culture relays on modern progress. Let’s speculate and apply what we see is being built usually in the first place; – it is not the hospital, not a nursing home, no orphanages but the factories that produce goods and giant stores that sell them. Important to note that before it gets sold or manufactured, Corporation using advertising techniques that often build around person temptation, which in many cases build around their own ego.
Living in world where every human consider a consumer led to humanity for establishing their own consumer rights. Those rights elevated to the new morality of certain laws, I have a right to consume what I see. Companies consume people, and people consume everything around them. With this kind approach humans have the mentality where consumption is not a temptation it is a right. Indeed we live in world were temptation fueled by advertisement techniques keep growing expanding every day. However just like temptation, consumption is also expanding and growing, this quite intensive growth of consumption becoming a great opportunity for governments and Enterprises to expand their profits. Modern progress allow governments and enterprises to produce enough goods to satisfy consumption, however in order to do so it must have enough materials.
Temptation on Global Level
There is no doubt that modern progress brining new solutions to our lives but at what cost those solutions come. Through modern progress, western culture made possible to solve hunger issues by creating and using materials that would be consider two thousand years ago meaningless. TEOC argue that western world lifestyle, leads to constant predatory exploitation of Earth resources. Modern humanity must understand the price of living lifestyle that promotes predatory exploration f earth. That price is not only our environment, but well of all humans around the globe. This temptation that is measured on world level scale have another disadvantage it often exploit’s third world using them for cheap labor and materials. In this case poor developing world is being consumed by the temptation of the wealthy developed world.
Applying four temptation perspectives to the western world.
Indeed humanities lifestyle has changed for past 2000, and the way humanity see and accepts things is different. Conclusion that can be drawn here is that even though the modern might understand the term temptation differently, the meaning of that stills the same. We as consumer generation have to realize that when our temptation have no physical limits, consumption indeed have one, and even more if it is unbalance it can destroy us. modern community still have the power of will, using to resist the temptation will bring not only spiritual, psychological peace but also financial.