Friday, April 07, 2006

Journey to the margins - part 2


Next we go up onto the roof, to read from Matthew's gospel about Jesus' temptation:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, “One 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 and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not 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 splendour; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
(Matthew 4:1-11)
At one point this was one of the tallest buildings in Melbourne, but now we're surrounded by much taller buildings, belonging to powerful companies like Westpac, ANZ, Optus, Commonwealth Bank and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (our wonderful sponsors). From up here it's pretty difficult to see what's going on down at street level.
In the scripture, Jesus is taken to the highest point of his capital city, where he is offered great power, but he isn't interested.

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