Monday, August 4, 2008

spinning Christ's temptations I

For Jesus, God's natural ecosystem is not only one of care, but also of limits. So when Jesus is tempted (Luke 4:1-3), he refuses to turn stones into bread (which would subvert God's natural system of provision)...
Brian McLaren, Everything Must Change, p. 139

So, what does such reasoning do to, let's say, the time Jesus turned water into wine? Or fed several thousand people with one child's lunch? If one goes back to the Old Testament, what about when God fed Israel in the wilderness with manna, and provided water for them? Or when He provided water for Ishmael and later Samson? Or when He gave food to Elijah before having him take a long journey?

Take a look at the passage, which to his credit he does reference though I contend misinterprets and misapplies.

Luke 4
4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness
4:2 during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered.
4:3 And the devil said unto him, if thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it become bread.
4:4 And Jesus answered unto him, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone

I see nothing in that which says that Jesus didn't do it because it "would subvert God's natural system of provision". Considering how often Jesus did provide such things through miraculous means, I think we should look elsewhere for the reason He didn't do so here. Very likely, since it was a temptation, then Jesus' fasting was in obedience to His Father, so the temptation to eat was a temptation to be disobedient.


Anonymous said...


You forgot the last few words of Luke 4:4 [and I suspect BMK's Bible doesn't even have them - for good reason]: (...not by bread alone,) "but by every word of God."

Just linked here from Apprising Ministries,
Patrice Stanton

jazzact13 said...

Hello, Mr. Stanton,

Here's a link to an online Bible, which if I remember right was the place from where I got those verses.

This one does not have that ending, either. I know that the account in Matthew does have that ending, and it is that one that I am more familiar with. I went with Luke, though, but that is what McLaren referenced, and it shows the lack of support for his ideas.

But I am glad that you noted that. I do try to be accurate, and don't want to slip on something like this.

jazzact13 said...

Actually, I think I need to apologize. I think that needs to be Ms. or Mrs. Stanton, correct? Sorry about that, I misread your name the first time I saw it.