3 Temptations

Russell Minick think~be~do 3 Comments

  1. Physical – make bread right now (you have needs) [lust of the flesh]
  2. Relational – jump from the temple to prove your value to others (they will see you and be impressed) [lust of the eyes]
  3. Spiritual – submit to the principles of this world to achieve (take pride, man! Dream the dream: I will, I will, I will, I will, I will) [Pride of Life]

The idea is that all of our temptations come from just three basic ones in the way that all colors come from three primary ones. I have physical, relational and spiritual needs. I often panic and seek fulfillment my way and on my time schedule. That is what Satan is all about. Do not submit, step up and take charge (see Isaiah 14:13,14 for the 5 “I will” boasts of Lucifer). Jesus in his temptation at the beginning and the end of his ministry says the opposite: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Do you have any temptations that are not some combination of physical, relational or spiritual (how to use your will)?

Is it difficult knowing that your needs and desires are real, and often valid, but that you still need to wait upon the Lord?

How is the temptation story of Jesus relevant to you?

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Comments 3

  1. Hi Russ, Thank you for these meditations. Pondering them in the background for several days. Posted a comment a few days ago on one below–but looks like it didn’t stick. Really appreciate the Physical- Relational- Spritual/three colors/three temptations of the Christ match-up. Went back to Read 1John. Getting hung on this preceding phrase more than ever before: “the world”. Difficult not to default to dualism here– ‘physical’ bad, ‘spiritual’ good. Obviously John himself uses the phrase in different senses, e.g., “For God so loved the world . . .” and Jesus and John the Baptist in your Matthew Passage are both fully engaged with the stuff of physical life–camel hair, grasshoppers, axes, roots, winnowing forks, fire, doves, muddy rivers, leather belts, stones, lakes, vipers, boats, salt, nets, cities, hills, fishermen, sick people . . .etc. So how do we make the distinction? Seems crucial. John insists that we love; Wendell Barry says “love is never abstract.” I’d be glad to read your thoughts on this distinction. How do we love the world more than the World without loving the World like the World?

  2. God created the WORLD to be in submission to us folk; those created in His image.In the fall we turned the canoe upside down. Now the World is above us in a functional sense. We are in the COSMOS ruled by authorities/principalities that invoke idolatrous worship from us, AS IF the creation were the ultimate reality.We are in THE WORLD (God’s creation) but not of The World (the flipped kayak, so to speak). We don’t truck with those who concede that since we cannot see the Self-Existent that what is seen must be Self-Existent.Redeemed physical realitiy is already / not yet in this: Mountains and Moles function AS IF they were lost without hope, separated from MEANING. But, we groan with Creation and the Spirit waiting for the Real order to be revealed:GOD TRANSCENDENTGOD IMMANENTGOD’S SPIRIT IN GOD’S CHILDRENTHE WORLD

  3. Pingback: 3 Temptations | Russell Minick – Theology for Rookies

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