Jesus 40 day fast, what really happened?

by Formerbrother 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Formerbrother


    Did Satan physically take Jesus to the temple when tempting him?

    Put simply, we cannot be certain whether Jesus actually stood in the temple or he did so only by means of a vision. At times, both possibilities have been presented in our publications.

    Consider first what the Bible record says. In his Gospel account of this event, the apostle Matthew was inspired to write: “Then the Devil took him [Jesus] along into the holy city, and he stationed him on the battlement [“parapet; highest point,” ftn.] of the temple.” (Matt. 4:5) Luke’s parallel account puts it this way: “He then led him into Jerusalem and stationed him on the battlement of the temple.”—Luke 4:9.


    So the Org is saying we dont know for sure if it was just a vision or if Jesus really did appear at the temple?

  • Formerbrother

    In the past, our publications have reasoned that this event may not have happened literally. For example, in the issue of March 1, 1961, The Watchtower explained: “It does not seem reasonable to place a literal construction on all that appears in the account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Certainly there is no mountain from which one could be shown ‘all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.’ So too, we must reasonably conclude that Satan did not literally, bodily, physically, take Jesus ‘along into the holy city’ and station him ‘upon the battlement of the temple.’ Such was not at all necessary for the temptation to have force.” However, in subsequent issues of this journal, we have observed that Christ’s complying with Satan’s request could have resulted in Jesus’ suicide.

    Some have stated that, as a non-Levite, Jesus was not authorized to stand on top of the temple sanctuary. So it was assumed that Jesus may have been ‘taken along’ to the temple by means of a vision. That is similar to what happened centuries earlier to the prophet Ezekiel.—Ezek. 8:3, 7-10;11:1, 24; 37:1, 2.

    However, if this temptation occurred only in the form of a vision, the following questions arise:

    • Was the temptation real or imaginary?

    • If the other temptations were efforts to lure Jesus into carrying out physical actions such as turning literal stones into bread or performing a real act of worship before Satan, would not this temptation have been similar—requiring Jesus physically to jump from the temple?

    On the other hand, if Jesus did stand physically on the battlement of the temple, other questions arise:

    • Did Jesus violate the Law by standing on top of the sanctuary?

    • How did Jesus get from the wilderness to Jerusalem?

    Further research helps us to see some possibilities that may answer these last two questions.

    First, Professor D. A. Carson notes that the Greek wordhi·e·ron’, translated “temple” in both accounts, “probably refers to the entire complex, not the sanctuary itself.” So Jesus would not necessarily have had to stand on top of the sanctuary itself. He could have stood, for example, on the southeastern corner of the temple area. From that location, there was a drop of some 450 feet (137 m) to the floor of the Kidron Valley. The southeast structure had a flat roof with a parapet and was the highest in the temple. The ancient historian Josephus stated that if a person stood there and looked down, he “would become dizzy” because of the height. As a non-Levite, Jesus would have been allowed to stand in that location, and his doing so would not have caused any commotion.

    But how could Jesus have been taken along to the temple when he was in the wilderness? The basic answer is that we cannot know for certain. The brief description of the temptations does not state how long a period was involved or where Jesus was in the wilderness. We cannot rule out the possibility that Jesus may have walked back to Jerusalem, even though doing so may have taken some time. The account does not specifically say that Jesus remained in the wilderness throughout the time of the temptations. Rather, it merely says that he was taken into Jerusalem.

    What, though, of the temptation wherein Jesus was shown “all the kingdoms of the world”? Obviously, he did not literally see all the kingdoms; there is no literal mountain from which all of them can be seen. So Satan may have used some sort of vision to show these to Jesus, similar to the way a projector and a screen can be used to show someone pictures of various places on earth. However, although a vision may have been used, the “act of worship” would have been real, not imaginary. (Matt. 4:8, 9) It could be argued, then, that the temptation to jump off the battlement of the temple involved a real action with real consequences—adding a greater seriousness to this temptation than would be the case were it a mere vision.

    The fact is, as stated at the outset, we cannot be dogmatic about this matter. Hence, we cannot rule out the possibility that Jesus actually went to Jerusalem and stood on the battlement of the temple. But one thing we can be sure about is that these temptations were real and that Jesus gave a conclusive answer to the Devil in each case.

  • Formerbrother

    I have written to the branch asking if they think Jesus drank his own urine during the 40day fast.

    This was just after he got baptised, when the dove came down above him, ALL his memories came back to him, maybe millions of years with his father in heaven. It was very overwhelming, when he realised why he had come to earth and what he had to do.

    He wanted some time to himself to think about thinks, I imagine he just put his garment back on after getting baptised, and he may have has some kind of animal skin water bottle.

    Then he went into the wilderness to meditate on all that he remembered.

    So the account said he went 40 days without food, but what did he do for water?

  • Formerbrother

    Jesus often talked about the waters of life, and there are scripture that say drink out of your own cistern.

    I think Jesus drank his own urine on his 40 day fast.

    David Blaine did a similar thing in a glass box in London, he went 40 days only drinking his own urine.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I bet Jesus popped out on the second day for some fast food, KFC or something

  • sir82

    I have written to the branch asking if they think Jesus drank his own urine during the 40day fast.

    I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the Bro. in the correspondence dept. opened that letter.

  • careful

    The Cotton Patch Version reads here:

    Then Jesus was taken by the Spirit into the country, to be given a test by the Confuser. And after a forty-day fast he was plenty hungry. Well, the Confuser comes around and said to him, "So you're God's Head Man, huh? The order these stones to become pones." But Jesus told him, "The Scripture says, 'A man shall not live on pone alone, but on every word falling from the lips of God.'"


    Again, the Confuser gets him way up on a high mountain and points out to him all the nations in the world and their splendor, and he says to Jesus, "Now if you'll just let me be boss, I'll turn all this over to you." Then Jesus tells him, "Scram, Satan!"

    That clears it up, eh?

  • prologos

    In talk outlines, wt writers, in arguing that "satan" is a real person, discounted the idea that such a monsterocity could be the construct of a "perfect mind" , negating in a way that these temptations were really mental exercises.

    Jesus, the potential perfect First Century b*.a.s.e jumper. * building, antenna,--

  • Simon
    Jesus hallucinated and came up with a story about "the devil". Dumb hippy.
  • fulltimestudent

    Jesus suffered from delusions.

    As he grew up he gradually came to imagine that he was going to fulfill a special role for the people that he saw as 'God's people.' But to do that he needed to demonstrate his legitimacy. I submit that through his claimed supernatural experiences he could ask his disciples and his audiences to accept the role that he claimed for himself

    Whether he described that 40 days to his disciples or not is unclear. According to Luke's narrative, no one else accompanied him during the claimed 40 day fast. The whole experience may have been in his fevered imagination, that he related at some future point. If not so, then the authors of the gospels made it up for the same reasons.

    It is very difficult for people living now to understand the thought patterns of people living in world of that time. The sociohistorical realities that shape the way that social groups (communities) see the world are often just assumed when people speak or write. If we think in terms or of our own sociohistorical realities then we will often get an entirely wrong impression.

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