temptation

temptation March 23, 2012
Jesus is tempted by the devil.
"Jesus Tempted by the Devil" (ink and watercolor, by David Hayward)

The story of Jesus being tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights in the desert is an incredibly risky story for Christianity.

Why? Because it betrays the sheer humanity of Jesus. In religion, temptation is understood as the inclination to sin… the desire to perform an act that one may regret later. The inclination to sin? The desire to perform a regrettable act? Usually, in religion, the inclination to sin and the battle against desire are enough to get you disciplined or removed.

Have you ever experienced a long desert of temptation? Forty days of intense hand to hand combat with a sinful inclination or a strong desire to commit a regrettable act? Forty days of spiritual warfare without any relief? Pray that this cup does not come your way. It sifts you like wheat. It is brutal and you don’t come out the other end the same.There is something unspeakable about it.

This story of Jesus makes him unflinchingly human. Accessible. Real.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Oh, yes. Been there. The temptations: Despair, loss of faith. Worldliness.

  • Renny

    I just want to be good and do good. Sin is overrated. I don’t get it. And I don’t get the inclination to sin. Am I just different? Is it just me? ” In religion, temptation is understood as the inclination to sin… the desire to perform an act that one may regret later.”

    Perhaps I am getting old…”Forty days of intense hand to hand combat with a sinful inclination or a strong desire to commit a regrettable act?” Not at my age, and certainly not since I left religion behind.

    Just my thoughts.
    Renny

  • Your depiction of the temptation makes me feel the power of the tempting moment. It is fierce. Like all others, I have been there, am there. The drama being played out on the battleground of my soul is cosmic and the ground shakes from the footsteps of giants in the land. Thanks for the art.