Saturday, November 07, 2009
John Piper answers: Was Jesus tempted with homosexuality?
I was a bit amused at John Piper's ability to answer this rather easy question. Though he sort of gives an answer it misses the point as to be tempted is not the same as sinning. One can be tempted, but it is the acting upon the temptation that it becomes sin. Jesus was tempted on three levels by the devil.
Luke 4: 1. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2. where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." 4. Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.' " 5. The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." 8. Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" 9. The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10. For it is written: "`He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully;11. they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' " 12. Jesus answered, "It says: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' " 13. When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. 14. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
1. Body = Turn the stones into bread
2. Mind = Throw yourself down from this steeple as God said He would send angles to protect you.
3. Spirit = Worship me (the Devil) and all the world is yours.
Each point was a test for Jesus. He had fasted and was hungry. Test God to see if He is real and will be faithful to His word and finally, worship the devil in exchange for all the world. The would cover about all temptations I can think of. Bodily pleasures, mentally believing one is too smart to believe in God, and worshiping the creation instead of the Creator.
Yet, the verse in question would not neceistate Jesus to be tempted to participate in homosexual acts.; Hebrews 4: 15. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
The humorous part though is that Piper seemed to miss or at least in his attempt to explained was not clear in his explanation that one sins because of one own evil desires. Now he stated that, but temptation works like this.
If I was walking through a restaurant and saw the tips left on a the tables for the waitress and thought for a second, "No one would know if I took it." and then took I was tempted then following my evil desires committed the sin of theft. Yet if I had the same scenario, and I did not take the money I was tempted but did not sin as I did not take the money. Though Jesus would say I committed the sin in my heart... which to me is the idea of recognizing that the potential for me to think and take the money is there.
Now a person may also walk through the room and see the money and not even have the thought cross their mind to take it. To me, I see that Jesus was like that. If He was "tempted" as we were, I do not think He struggled as we do to morally decide to act or not. Instead all the things that tempt us were present for Jesus to see and partake of, including homosexuality, yet, Jesus would not have giving the temptation a thought but only did as His Father told Him to do.
Piper was compassionate in his answer, but seemed to miss this as a simple question. It seemed to rather perplex him, which in turn perplexes me that a man held in such high regard as a theologian, could not easily answer a rather simplistic question on temptation.