Thursday, January 21, 2010

he difference between Jesus and the devil

BELOW: Capon, from an out of print classic (no wonder it's 100 bucks on Amazon.. But also available with two other of his early classics as "The romance of the word: one man's love affair with theology : three books" a free read here)

In any case, the clincher for the argument that the devil's ideas {in the wilderness temptations}aren't all bad comes from Jesus himself. At other times, in other places, and for his own reasons, Jesus does all of the things the devil suggests. Instead of making lunch out of rocks, he feeds the five thousand miraculously--basically the same trick, on a grander scale. Instead of jumping off the temple and not dying, he dies and refuses to stay dead--by any standards, an even better trick. And finally, instead of getting himself bogged down in a two-man presidency with an opposite number he doesn't really understand, he aces out the devil on the cross and ends up risen, ascended at the right hand of the Father as King of Kings and Lord of Lords--which is the best trick of all, taken with the last trump.

No, the difference between Jesus and the devil does not lie in what the devil suggested, but in the methods he proposed--or more precisely, in the philosophy of power on which his methods were based...If you are really God, the devil says, do something. Jesus answers, I am really God, therefore I do nothing...The devil wants power to be used to do good; Jesus insists that power corrupts and defeats the very good it tries to achieve.

..the devil in the wilderness overs Jesus a short cut, Jesus calls it a dead end and turns a deaf ear.
-"The Third Peacock," 43-45.


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!