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The Temptation of Christ

Here is a passage from the Philokalia (Love of Beauty/Goodness) on the temptations Jesus endured that relates to what I wrote this morning.

Of the demons opposing us in the practice of the disciplined life, there are three groups who fight in the front line: those entrusted with the appetites of gluttony, those who suggest avaricious thoughts, and those who insight us to seek the esteem of men. All the other demons follow behind and in their turn attack those already wounded by the first three groups. for one does not fall into the power of the demon of unchastity, unless one has first fallen because of gluttony…. That is why the devil suggested these three thoughts to the Saviour: first he exhorted Him to turn stones into bread; then he promised Him the whole world, if Christ would fall down and worship him; and thirdly he said that, if our Lord would listen to him, He would be glorified and suffer nothing in falling from the pinnacle of the temple. But our Lord, having shown Himself superior to these temptations, commanded the devil to ‘get behind Him.’ In this way He teaches us that it is not possible to drive away the devil, unless we scornfully reject these three thoughts (cf. Matt. 4:1-10).

Evagrios the Solitary

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