I would like to do an exegesis of the temptations of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mountain. The version of the Bible I am taking is the Message, a post modern Bible written in contemporary idioms.
Temptations of Jesus
When Jesus finished fasting in the wilderness for 40 days, the fiendish Lucifer came to test him. He knew that Jesus was hungry and asked him to turn stones into bread. And Jesus quoted the scripture and said: ‘Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. What is the spiritual meaning of this? We should not be self-gratifying beasts, carnal, lecherous and gluttonous. In the Second Temptation, Satan took God atop a mountain and said to him to jump and said that the angels would come down and rescue him. Then Jesus replied: ‘We should not tempt God’. The meaning is we should not be reliant on the satisfaction of our own desires. We should yield our will to the almighty. For the third temptation Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world with fame and splendor and said: ‘if you worship me, all these are yours’ Jesus said not to worship any other but only God. In our narcissistic search for fame, money and prestige we should not lose the sight of God and the banquet he has prepared us for eternity. It is God the maker and his will that should prevail in us.
Sermon on the Mountain
The Sermon on the Mountain is the profound speech of Jesus and is the most vibrant literature, more meaningful than all those who have won the literary accolades. I am taking a New Version of the Bible called the Message.
a) ‘Blessed are you when you are at the end of your rope and then you will have more of God and Less of you’. What is the meaning of this saying? End of the rope is a point in your life when you are feeling frustrated, hopeless and then the writer is advocating you to turn to God.
b) ‘You are blessed when you have lost most dear to you and then you can gain what is most precious for you’. Devotion, Faithfulness, and Hope are the ways in which we signify God. All our possessions on earth are fleeting.
c) ‘Blessed you are when you are contented and then you can buy the things which cannot be bought.’ The grace and peace of God are heavenly and not earthly. They cannot be bought but they have the heavenly splendor of love.
d) ‘Blessed are you when you have worked a good appetite for God and then you can taste the best meal that you have ever had.’ Appetite is spiritual hunger and its satisfaction is God’s words and the miracle of simple life and well –living.
e) ‘You are blessed when you care and at the moment of caring, you will find yourself cared for.’ Jesus is advocating us to compassionate. Jesus also wants to remind is that he is the provident provision of all our monetary needs.
f) ‘You are blessed when you put your inside World—your mind and soul in good order and then you can see the World that is manifest in God.’ God Jesus is advocating a world of spiritual purity. God wants us to edify our hearts and be divine like him.
g) ‘You are blessed when you can show people to cooperate instead of competing and fighting. That’s when you find yourself being a part of God’s Family.’ The choice to be Christian is a personal one and in it there’s no place for hate, envy, maliciousness and covetousness.
h) ‘Blessed are you when you are persecuted for God and then only will you find a place for yourself in God’s kingdom.’ It’s a tough injunction to spread the word of God to the nook and corner of the World. The reward is God’s Heavenly Eternity.