Gospel Rewrite: Jesus and Power

Read the original story here. Read the introduction to the series here

Matthew 4:1-11

Then the Spirit led Jesus up into the wilderness so that the devil might tempt him. After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was starving. The tempter came to him and said, “Since you are God’s Son, command these stones to become bread.”

Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.”

After that the devil brought him into the holy city and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down; for it is written, I will command my angels concerning you, and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.

Jesus replied, “Again it’s written, Don’t test the Lord your God.”

Then the devil brought him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He said, “I’ll give you all these if you bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus considered carefully the devil’s deal. He commended the devil for his cleverness in saving this temptation for last. Finally, Jesus said, “I will accept these kingdoms, though I will not worship you. I will take them because they are not yours. The kingdoms of the world belong to God. Though it is written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him, it will soon be written that all earthly authorities are ordained by God. Power is crucial to changing the world, and what better way to change the world than to rule over its kingdoms? This is why I am here, after all. God desires that I reign with power over people so that all might obey with respect those in positions of power and governance. They are put in place by God, just as I am. 11 The devil left him defeated, and Jesus became endowed with power to rule all the earth.

This concludes, for now, the Gospel Rewrite series.

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