The Temptations of Jesus

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Claudia
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The Temptations of Jesus

#1 Postby Claudia » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:38 pm

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days; he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him, “It is written, “Man does not live on bread alone.” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered, “It says: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
Luke 4: 1 – 13



Standing like a prelude to his public ministry we find the temptations of Jesus Christ. They are also described in Matthew but in a different order: Bread, Temple, and Mountain.
How can what happens here be expressed?
The devil appears and speaks to Jesus directly: Jesus responds three times, and each time his response is a quotation from the Scriptures. Temptation is a universal human experience.
Pope John XXIII, for example, wrote in Journal of a Soul of the “fantastic dreams” of “positions and honors” that afflicted him all his life. His “enemy within,” he called them. “In the end,” he said, “I was able to get the better of it. But I was mortified to feel it constantly returning.” A similar struggle marked the early years of theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer. How often he had sought to master his vanity but it always crept back again and forced an entry into the house of his soul and made him afraid.
Everyone will be tempted, as Jesus after John baptized him had to enter into the Temptation of the desert when he withdrew there to bring all the new powers he knew in himself to coherence and purity.
In Mel Gibson’s movie, the Passion of Christ, Satan is clearly a fictional supernatural person who walks and talks with Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem and Galilee.
Jesus was unique in envisioning the realm of evil as cohering under a single satanic power, and especially so in viewing this power as tottering on the brink of defeat. In the Temptations, the Devil seeks to entice Jesus to usurp the role of his true Father (God) and rule the world in his head.
In A Psychological Approach to the Trinity, Carl Jung identifies Lucifer as the personification of the God-opposing will: “The enlightened conscience registers with greater sensitivity and power, and the will becomes increasingly decisive.” The metaphors of “Devil” and “Temptation” which develop in so many different ways take place in the transformation of consciousness.
In Boisen’s view, Jesus is a supreme example of someone who faced the challenge, suffered through the chaotic ordeal and emerged victorious. “The significance of Jesus would then be found precisely in the fact that, passing through this most searching experience, he came forth unscathed and achieved the highest degree of social harmony not only in his inner organization but in his social perspective.”
Temptation is an indication of strength, not of weakness. The Letters to the Hebrew characterizes it as an essential component of Jesus’ path: “For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Hebrew 2:18). “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrew 4:15)
He was tempted in all points as we are but he emerged from these temptations more mature and more capable of serving his mission. According to Gerald H. Slusser, each of these three temptations reveals an evolutionary aspect of the psyche – Ego, Self and Reason:
“Satan is not an external figure who lures us the wrong way but the very essence of evil in our own lives, in our souls. It is, furthermore, a considerable comedown for the inflated ego to realize that the power of the transpersonal Self does not and cannot belong to the ego or be controlled by it. The wilderness experience is necessary to bring down the inflation of the ego, which cannot receive the support of the Self until it has been freed from its inflated identification with the Self.”
Thinking along similar lines, Clarence Edward Macartney wrote that there is a man other than “the man of hunger and sensual appetite. There is the man of the spirit, the man who lives by truth and in fellowship with God. This is the man for whose needs we must give the first care.” Once again we stand before the centrality of Jesus himself.
The two spheres – on one hand the opening up of the “system of boxes” into a new consciousness, and on the other hand the modification of my self-protect-destructive instincts – are directly connected.

Tau Malachi
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Contemplating Temptation

#2 Postby Tau Malachi » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:11 am

Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!

The contemplation of the temptation can follow along many different lines, from exoteric to esoteric, having many different layers of meaning; the humanness of Yeshua and the right response to temptation being, perhaps, the outermost level of interpretation - essentially, Yeshua's answer to the temptations is the word of the Lord, the scriptures, and that word is the active revelation and expression of God's will.

On the most basic level the experience of temptation is the fundamental question of whose will or interest we shall serve, our own self-will or Ratzon Elyon, the will of the Supreme. We are reminded of the classical question of the guardian of the Grail to the knight seeking to retrieve it, "Who does the Grail serve?"

Now the most essential question regarding the temptation is: Who or what is Satan, the Adversary? Is this an external force of evil or is it something internal to us, or is it both external and internal?

In the Sophian Gnostic tradition Satan is frequently called the "shadow of the demiurge," the chief archon; the demiurge, of course, represents cosmic ignorance, dualism in consciousness, self-grasping. The shadow of the demiurge, Satan or Samael, is the most extreme manifestation of this, the darker side of our bestial nature and egotism, which is the source of all evil, all violence.

This, of course, points us within ourselves, for Satan is understood as our own egoistic self, or more specifically, our own shadow side, but in that this "shadow" pervades all creatures and creation, as much as internal to us it is external - a great cosmic force.

This phenomenon naturally arises in the process of our individuation from unconscious primordial unity - the illusion of separation (perud) being integral to our involution and evolution as unique and individual beings; yet, it is also the great forces of resistance and obstruction to the fruition of the individual in the realization of union with the universal. Such is the demiurge and its great shadow, Satan.

If we look into the temptations this interpretation of Satan is clearly reflected - the temptations are bestial and selfish desires, the play of the false egoistic self. In the process of our spiritual evolution, of course, this self-grasping must be overcome, along with the egoistic desires and fears it generates which bind us to the dominion of the demiurge (ignorance).

When Yeshua receives the Holy Spirit, Ruach Ha-Kodesh, he must bring his bestial nature and egoistic self into submission, and he must sublimate his desire-energy, the "serpent power"; this is the temptation, the ordeal of initiation.

Now, at some point the full reception of the Holy Spirit will come to all of us, and with it the awakening of the serpent power in full - the wonderworking power; according to the scriptures it is the true sign of becoming a follower of the Way or Christian, and we may say that it is the true sign of becoming an authentic individual or human being. Thus, each of us must face this temptation and overcome the ignorance, the evil inclination (sitra ahara).

Naturally, this temptation is not a singular event - as long as we are in these bodies, in this world, the temptation continues; and so it was for Adonai Yeshua, as we see in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of the Passion as he wrestled with the question of whose will would be served with his life.

It would appear that knowledge and understanding of temptation and how to overcome it is essential to the Christian life, or the Life Divine - knowledge of the way of an active and dynamic surrender to the Divine in our lives on all levels, material, psychic and spiritual.

In closing we can point out that the three temptations represent these three levels of our life.

Receiving the Holy Spirit may we be blessed and empowered to uplift and redeem the Serpent in the Messiah of El; amen.

Shabbat Shalom!
Last edited by Tau Malachi on Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tau Malachi
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Marion
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the temptor

#3 Postby Marion » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:24 am

Shabbat Shalom!

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days; he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and when they were over he was hungry."

I am contemplating this verse as; Yeshua receives the Holy Spirit at the Jordan. This is a new gradation of the light presence, and actually, I have heard before that this is the moment when Yeshua attains supernal realization. When an initiate experiences something like this, there is always an integration period that follows. Often one where we realize tikkune that we must work on, because this light tends to illuminate all things, good and bad. And I am wondering if this is what is happening here "with Yeshua? Not eating in the desert is a curious image. It suggests that not only was he starving physically, but was also starving on a spiritual level. He knows the depth of depths now; he understands things that he previously could not have begun to understand! And now, he must strive to embody this recognition. It also feels like during these forty days he is purging and purifying himself. Notice that he eats nothing; he is not taking in any outside things. But his work now is completely internal. Just as you mentioned Claudia, this Satan is not a little guy in a red suit with a pitchfork running around the universe making people sin, it is a force within ourselves. And a natural result of Asiyah and these bodies. And as long as we are here there will always be the tempter.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him, “It is written, “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."

This is interesting because here Satan is telling Yeshua. "Listen to forces outside of you." I am also contemplating this verse as: "tell this stone to become bread" as in, tell this physicality to become realized, (Of God) and Yeshua says, "...every word that comes from the Mouth of God." as in, we are given those whom are granted to us by the Holy Spirit. Because "Word" can be interpreted as the soul of light and Mouth is a cognomen of Malkut. Which is very interesting. Because Yeshua is not condemning the flesh or things of this world. Instead he is acknowledging that there is light in this world by the grace of the most high.

"So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

Here Yeshua is letting Satan know that he knows who he is. Which is really the first step in repentance. This is huge because he basically says, "I know you are not the most high, even with all of your power. I know you are the evil inclination!" that is very powerful. And he constantly counters with pointing to God. As in, when tempted, he re-focuses on the Holy One.

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered, “It says: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Here Satan basically, in a last ditch effort, tells Yeshua to take his own life. or at least risk it. He is Telling Yeshua to tempt God! Just like he is tempting Yeshua, and if Yeshua were to do this, he would be acting just as Satan acts.

Finally scripture says, when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” Does this mean that the evil inclination came back, even to the Messiah? It would seem so. This is an interesting phrase because it says that even when a being is fully realized here they still have one of these bodies, and therefore the evil inclination. So we know that confession and repentance is a constant process throughout life.

May the Holy Spirit Guide us to the Kingdom of the Most High! Amen.

Blessings and Shalom,

Marion

know this
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#4 Postby know this » Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:01 pm

what is temptation ? for me, it is the emotions, the desires.
we humans have to be very watchful to the emotional side of our beeing, watch it, control it and conquer it to find our way.
if we fail to gain conscious control over our emotional side, we are led astray easily, falling prey to all kind of weaknesses and vices.

and i think the temptation of jesus has to be viewed as the first of 3 steps, which are the basic steps of any spiritual truthseeker :
first comes the conquering of the flesh and its desires - that corresponds to the 40 days in the desert - then follows the cleansing and purification of the personality - shown in the wedding feast wonder - and finally the resurrection, that is the full dawn of messianic/super-consciousness - shown in the resurrection of lazarus.

may all beeings find peace in the light of the logos, which came to lead all into eternal life in him!

Susan

Releasing Temptation

#5 Postby Susan » Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:55 pm

Greetings!

These words of Tau Malachi+ are contained within the prayer "Prayer of the Gospel of Truth."When, through Grace, I recognise that the ego is leading in this dance of life, I say these Light-filled words and whoosh temptation gets the boot out of the dance-hall!

"Supernal Grace, Thunderbolt Illumination,
Self-Liberation of all as it arises,
Great Natural Perfection,
Human One of Light
Holy One -
All praise to you!"


May El Elyon be praised for the catalyst of temptation!

Shalom,

Susan


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