Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ponder anew....

This sermon from Father Beane made me realize that I’ve somehow thought of Jesus’ temptations in the desert after His Baptism as a one-time occurance – that after He overcame them with the Word of God, Satan no longer tempted him, or perhaps that He was no longer vulnerable to temptation after that. Here, Fr. Beane has painted a new picture for me. “Jesus, God in the flesh, is weeping over the City of Jerusalem. These are tears of profound sadness. What a great mystery the incarnation of God is! For Jesus is God, He is Almighty, He can change everything with the breath of a single word. And yet, He doesn’t.”

And what art work he's chosen to accompany his post! The gaping, black maw of the storm, full of prowling tooth and claw, is breathing this temptation into Jesus’ ear, poised to not only devour Jerusalem, but the King himself, should He succumb to it. While I sit here thinking, I realize that Satan was busy tempting Jesus right up until His death. I always considered the words of the mockers, “Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” to simply be a confirmation of their arrogant, hardened hearts. Yet their words, too, must have been tempting. And it seems to always the same temptation: to avoid paying the cost and escape God’s will. Pretty clever stuff, coming from one who surely wanted to avoid having to pay the cost (of having his head crushed) and escape God’s will.