Temptation of the Body of Christ

What if the temptation narrative of Jesus as found in the gospel of Matthew could be interpreted not just as a personal, one-on-one, face to face temptation of Jesus and Satan?

If we are the body of Christ then could the temptation narrative be interpreted as what the corporate body of Christ.  That is to say, can we read the scripture as what temptations does the culture face?  (This is not a unique interpretation by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes we forget about reading the Bible as a community).

There are the three temptations:
  1. Turning stones into bread
  2. Throwing oneself off the top of the temple for angels to catch him
  3. Global rule 
If these temptations are taken as things that temp American Christians then what would they look like?  I am sure there are many books on the subject (Godbearing by Dr. Elaine Robinson is one of these books), but I throw these ideas out there to consider.  

First we must notice that Satan offers seemingly reasonable solutions to the problems Jesus faced.  The same is true for today.  The Satanic force in the world is that force that offers "reasonable" solutions that are "logical" and even "common sense".  The hidden agenda of these solutions are that they always come at the destruction/explotation of something/someone else.  

The first temptation of turning stones into bread.  This is a "logical" solution to cure hunger, but it comes at the destruction of the rock.  While we cannot turn stones into personal fuel in the way of bread, we do look to the stones for collective energy - coal, oil, gas, etc.  At the writing of this post domestic oil production is at some of the highest levels it has even been at an yet the cost of oil is still very high.  We have an interconnected world and things in one part of the world affect other parts.  Thus to continue in with the "drill, baby, drill" doctrine, is not only misguided (as it has not lead to cheaper oil) but it also "fuels" a carbon addiction.  We are tempted to turn rocks into energy which is not evil, but one has to wonder at what cost do we keep drilling?  

In the second temptation, Satan offers Jesus a way to show people that he is the Son of God and should be followed by proving his connection to God.  Again, Satan offers a "logical" solution to Jesus seeking answer to how to get people to follow the Kingdom of God, but it comes at the exploitation of God.  When the director of the documentary "Inside Job" won the Oscar, he stood up and stated, "Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong."  There were many people who were tempted like Jesus to stand at the top of the temple and act with reckless abandonment.  Some chose to throw themselves off the top of the temple and free fall for their own personal gain while expecting others to catch them so they would not die.  Acting in such a way so that one is not held accountable to one's actions is throwing yourself off the temple expecting others to take care of you as you fall.  Are we tempted to act in such a way that we do not hold people accountable to their actions? 

Finally, Jesus stood with Satan and was told that the entire world would be his if Jesus worship Satan.  Jesus can become wealthy in the world by following an ambition and drive.  Satan offers a "logical" solution but it comes at the destruction of God by following ambition and not God.  There is nothing inherently bad about ambition however it can lead to a blindness to the rest of the world.  For instance, it has been recently reported that just 400 Americans have more wealth that ½ of all Americans combined, 155 million people.  Michale Moore said, “America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.”

Satan offers seemingly reasonable and logical solutions to problems but these solutions come with the destruction of something else or someone else.

What Christ comes to discover in the desert is that the way of God is offering seemingly unreasonable and illogical solutions to problems at the cost of your very self

Here is some of the logic of God:
Blessed are the meek, merciful and peacemakers
Workers are paid the same regardless their time in the field
Turn the other cheek.
Walk another mile.
Pray and love for your enemies.
Grace and forgiveness to all people

By denying himself and taking on the focused call of God, by following the logic of God:

Jesus becomes the bread of life.
Jesus becomes the temple we worship in.
Jesus becomes the King of creation.