Part six; Baptism and the Temptation of Jesus
As I have said; the four gospels were written some years after Jesus’s death and was written for different people, same news but presented in a different way.
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus; Mark ch1 v9
Now in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.” The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, enduring temptations from Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels were ministering to his needs.
The Temptation of Jesus Matthew ch4 v1
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took him to the holy city, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur. And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” Then the devil left him, and angels came and began ministering to his needs.
The Temptation of Jesus; Luke ch4 v1
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone.”
Then the devil led him up to a high place and showed him in a flash all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “To you I will grant this whole realm—and the glory that goes along with it, for it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. So then, if you will worship me, all this will be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”
Then the devil brought him to Jerusalem, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you, and with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “It is said, you are not to put the Lord your God to the test.” So when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until a more opportune time.
Next time Jesus starts his teaching.
But before that; on Wednesday 14th February. [Ash Wednesday.] The official start of the period of lent. This follows Shrove Tuesday [pancake day in Britain] children traditionally make and toss pancakes and have spoon and egg races.
In some places [especially Catholic dominated countries or areas] they celebrate in style with Mardi Gras
http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/ New Orleans USA
http://www.riocarnaval.org/carnival-date/rio-carnival-2018.html Rio de Janeiro Brazil
This is done in the Christian world to mark the start of Jesus’s 40 days temptation in the wilderness and leads up to Easter with Jesus’s trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Christians are supposed to give up something for Lent [as a symbol of Jesus’s fasting and temptation in the wilderness. What is surprising though the number of practicing Christians is supposed to be dwindling [older Christians dieing, falling birth rates [better to give a better start for a couple of children, then to have lots of children] people in the main no longer believing in a God they can’t see] but come Good Friday and most Fish and Chip shops do a trade in selling fish [the Greek sign for Christians was a fish and Jesus said to his disciples, “ I will make you fishers of men.”]
Like most things Christian there are opposing views;
1] That the Christians replaced a Saxon festival were the people killed surplus livestock and had a good meal [probably the last before spring and the birth of new life]
2] the Romans had a God called Bacchus [God of wine and celebration] and that the Christians used this festival for their own purposes.
Indeed there are Bacchus festivals held at the same time as lent as a opposition to Lent. http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule/parade-info/parades-bacchus.html
Still it is their choice, it is still a free world, and people are free to disagree about religion.
Indeed the name Easter is a change from Ishtar a pagan God of Fertility and rebirth and people say it was changed to suit early Christian Missionaries?
The above are but two sites that argue this fact, again it is down to what you believe? There is no compulsion in Christianity and people are free to have radical views, or no views at all. But this as not always been the case, to disagree with the Christian establishment could lead to fatal consequences?
But one thing people overlook about Easter [especially politicians and leaders] is the fact that people can be manipulated. In the three yeas of Jesus’s teaching were he healed the sick, brought comfort to people, and was generally seen by many as a good man. The fact that he was seen to be a good man by the Roman Authorities [Pontius Pilate] the provincial governor could see no wrong in him, released Jesus back to the Sanhedrin [Jewish parliament and court] who brought pressure to bear on Pilate, saying if he did not comply with their wishes, he would be seen as a weak leader in the eyes of Rome.
Pilate even offered to pardon Jesus, as was his right to pardon one condemned man during this specific religious festival. The Jewish Sanhedrin was able to manipulate the people, who had grown in respect for Jesus, to turn against him and allow Jesus to be crucified. People say why did this have to happen? Could not God have prevented it? But:
Jesus had to be killed to fulfil God’s prophecy in Isaiah [The suffering servant who had to be killed as a final sacrifice for mankind’s sins.
Isaiah Chapter 53 verse 1 to 12
Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the Lord’s power revealed through him?
He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him.
He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.
But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had not done.
He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed.
All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him.
He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her Shearer’s, he did not even open his mouth.
He was led away after an unjust trial—but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded.
They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully.
Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.
Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. “My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins.
So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes, he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful, because he willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when he lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”
John chapter 18 and 19 gives a good description of Jesus’s betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion. If one cares to look.
This leads to many questions;
1] Was Jesus a religious geek, like his cousin John? If so was he doing this to fulfil the Prophecy in Isaiah? It was a pretty extreme act just to prove a point?
2] As I have said before the Gospels were written after the event, if so were they all written to prove that Jesus was who he said he was and Isaiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled?
3] Or did God, allow Jesus to pay the price for our sins and in doing so allow us to start life anew?
I know what I believe; many others have believed the same. It is up to each of us to believe what we will.
So we have had Jesus’s birth and death. Next time Jesus starts his teaching.