Matthew 4:1-11

Here is another case where a single chapter contains more than one story. Again, I’ll split my posts to accomodate this oddity. With the way these chapters are split up so randomly, I’m wondering why have chapters at all? I guess it keeps the line numbers down to a reasonable size and makes it easier to put into blog posts.

Here the story continues. Recall last time, the Spirit of God came down “like a dove”. Now the spirit leads Jesus “up” into the wilderness. I am lost as to what “up” means. I thought it would mean up into the sky, but where is the wilderness coming in. I would normally think up means north due to the context, however, in the last chapter they spoke of the Spirit “descending.” At any rate, he gets to “wilderness” which is not further described. Note it says “wilderness” not desert. I always thought this meant desert, but it is not clear here so I won’t assume. It’s a kind of white room wilderness, I guess.

Here’s another case of redundancy. Jesus fasts for 40 days (and 40 nights). Then he is “an hungred.” (sic) Well, duh, if I fasted for forty days I’d be hungred (sic), too.

The devil tempts Jesus three times. The Spirit of God is OK with this. It says in the beginning of the chapter, he leads Jesus “to be tempted of the devil.” So this is God’s doing. Note the devil is lowercase. This implies that there are more than one devil and they are roughly interchangable. Again, I thought it was Satan with the capital “S”, but no, just a run of the mill devil.

The first temptation is for Jesus to turn bread into stones. Jesus demurs saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” I found that to be an odd reply since I didn’t think that making bread was such a bad thing. Then I realized that this is not just Jesus baking bread here. This is the Wilderness of Temptation. Therefore, the name of the game is to do the opposite of whatever the devil tells you regardless of whether it makes sense or not. This explains the Bush administration. They seem to be hell bent on doing the opposite of what Clinton did. Since Clinton was highly intelligent, it makes sense do to the opposite of this. Highly retarded things.

Next Jesus allows the devil to bring him to the pinnacle of a temple. There he is told to toss himself down so that the angels can save him. This is a no-brainer. Jesus wins this round. Two for two so far. However, Jesus’ reply was curious, “though shall not tempt the Lord thy God.” But I thought that Jesus was God. And in the beginning God brought him to be tempted. This makes no sense. Therefore, I conclude, logically Jesus is not God. Otherwise God would be tempting himself which is something he expressly prohibited.

Next round the devil shews (sic) all the kingdoms of the world. The devil offers them all to Jesus if he only worships the devil. Again, Jesus says, “no.”

Jesus wins. The devil leaves. The angels minister to Jesus. I wonder what “minister” means. I hope it means to give him food because he fasted for 40 days (and 40 nights).

My thoughts on this section are confused. The only real temptation seems to be the first one. The others are obviously no-brainers. I don’t why they are supposed to be tempting. Overall, however, I enjoyed this story. It was fun to read and interesting. I think that the devil is one of the most fun characters in the Bible. Every good story has a powerful villian someone who seems like they have everything going for them. The villian should have a good shot at completely humiliating the hero during the climax of the story. I hope we get there soon.

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One Response to “Matthew 4:1-11”

  1. Dana Hunter Says:

    When this Gospel was being preached in my friend’s church one Sunday morning, my friend’s mother leaned over to him after the “Man shall not live by bread alone” comment and whispered, “He needs peanut butter, too.”

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