Holy Spirit: Let’s go into the desert. Let’s go into the desert. Let’s go into the desert…
Jesus: And get ourselves a treat?
Holy Spirit: And fast for forty days.
Jesus: Uh… yea?
Satan: Hey, you look hungry. Why don’t you just turn some rocks into bread, since you’re the Son of God?
Jesus: Is this a temptation? How is this a temptation?
Satan: Come on, I’m doing my best… I haven’t done any actual tempting since I got some woman and her clueless husband to eat an apple.
Jesus: It shows. Anyway, the bible says, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from God.’”
Satan: Okay, well… what if you jump from the top of the Temple. Angels will totally catch you, everyone will see that you’re the Son of God, and start worshipping you.
Jesus: I mean… that’s better, but still, you don’t test God by jumping off of buildings.
Satan: Okay… how about I make all of the world’s leaders follow you and bow to you and all you have to do is bow to me?
Satan: A little bow? A teensy-weensy bow? Just nod your head? No?
Jesus: You’re making this awkward. You should go.
Angel: Hey, boss, here’s some bread from heaven.
Jesus goes back to Galilee and settles in Capernaum. Matthew pulls a few more verses out of context.
Jesus: Everyone stop being dicks to each other. The Kingdom of Heaven is coming!
Later, he’s walking along the shore and sees Peter and Andrew.
Jesus: Follow me, guys.
Peter: Sounds good.
He sees James and John working with their dad in their boat.
Jesus: Follow Me.
James and John: Okay.
Zebedee: Hey! What about the nets? Stupid kids…
So Jesus goes around the area giving sermons and healing people and he gets really famous.
Jesus goes up on a hill and teaches the people:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, they will inherit the Kingdom of God.
- Blessed are the afflicted. They will be comforted.
- Blessed are the gentle. They will inherit the Earth.
- Blessed are the hungry and thirsty for justice, they will see justice.
- Blessed are the merciful, they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called sons of God.
- Blessed are the persecuted for doing what is right, they will inherit the kingdom of God.
Do what is right, good, pure, merciful, and just and be an example to others, so they can glorify God.
I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Not one letter of the Law will pass away until all is accomplished. So if you teach anyone to disobey a commandment, you will be cursed. But if you teach them to obey the commandments, you will be blessed.
Unless you’re more righteous than a scribe or a Pharisee, you will not see the kingdom of God.
It was said, ‘Do not commit murder’, but I say take the principle even farther and don’t even hate or insult your fellow man.
It was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, but I say take the principle even farther and don’t have lustful thoughts about a woman who isn’t your wife.
Moses said you could divorce your wife, but I say that unless she is guilty of adultery, if you divorce her, you make her an adulteress, and whoever married a divorced woman commits adultery.
Do not make oaths. Say what you mean and do what you say.
It was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’, but I say, do not return evil for evil. Do not be violent. Do not resist an evil man. If someone strikes you, offer him another free shot. If someone tries to take your coat, offer him your shirt too. If a Roman tries to make you carry his gear for a mile, go two miles.
Give to those who ask of you and do not turn away from the one in need.
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate and persecute you. God is good even to those that hate him or don’t know He exists. So you do the same. There is no reward in doing good to those who do good to you. Everyone does that, but you be good towards everyone.
I end with an observation made by Kurt Vonnegut:
“For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). But, often with tears in their eyes, the demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!”