Trying to think about life and how God makes it full

The Wilderness, Part 3, Luke 4:1-13

Of the 3 temptations, the devil only wants to be worshiped in 1 of them. I’ve not noticed this before. Of the other 2, one would be done in private, and the other would be done in full view of Israel’s religious leadership; and Rome would hear of it, too.

The one the devil wants to be worshiped for is the middle one, where Jesus would rule the whole world. With that one, the devil doesn’t challenge Jesus with, “If you are the Son of God…”. Why is this?

How did Jesus know the difference between the Holy Spirit and the devil?

It would be interesting to go back through the bible to see the nature of the questions God asked Israel, and how he spoke to the prophets and other heroes of the faith.

Was the devil mimicking God’s voice to Jesus? Jesus used the words of scripture to reply. Why? How do I respond to the temptations of the devil, and to the testings of the Holy Spirit? Could it be argued that the Spirit was testing Jesus and those testings were interpreted as temptations of the devil? Doesn’t being in the wilderness do strange things to the mind anyway, let alone being alone and fasting for 40 days? Couldn’t Jesus’ lack of action be seen as theological dithering? After all, he had a chance to make a huge theological, symbolic, and very real messianic difference to the life of the whole world in an instant.

How did/could he tell the difference between the voice of the Holy Spirit and the voice of the devil?

The passage begins with the statement that he was full of the Holy Spirit. So, he would have known that feeling; he would recognise that voice. The voice of the devil would be different. Jesus spoke about knowing the shepherd’s voice in the ‘shepherd sayings’ (John 10). The trouble with humans is, there are loads of people throughout history who have been convinced they’ve known the voice of the Holy Spirit, been full of the Holy Spirit, and gone on to do hideous things in God’s Name.

Jesus kept referring back to scripture and the story of God’s dealings with his people. This must be a very strong clue in knowing how to tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and the devil.

Please Lord, keep me close to you through your word.


February 18, 2007 - Posted by | contemplative, god, jesus, liminality, religion

1 Comment »

  1. […] A really good post by Tony here around the temptation of Jesus asking a number of interesting questions. I was speaking around this […]

    Pingback by Lent/Wilderness « Weird Hippy | February 20, 2007 | Reply

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