Fat, happy, and well-filled

Say what you want about Peter Leithart, his The Four: A Survey of the Gospels is stunning. He brings together the Old Testament, biblical history, typology, literature, and the New Testament in a way that is so clear to the reader while showcasing the immense richness and depth of the gospels and the life and teachings of Christ. He starts with an introduction of the start of the new covenant, the inter-testamental period, and the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies before moving into a brilliant survey of each of the four gospels. It’s a book I will return to many times throughout the years while reading the gospels. It’s full of quotable material, but because of his tightly-woven arguments, it’s probably not in my best interest to wrench them out of context. But throwing caution to the wind, here’s one, with another to follow soon.

“Like Adam, Jesus is tempted to test His Father’s word, and to seize authority. Jesus is at a disadvantage. Adam had not been fasting. In fact, he had been encouraged to eat from the tree of life, and from all the other trees of the garden. Adam is tempted when he was fat and happy and well-filled, with no need to eat from another tree. Jesus has been fasting for forty days and nights. Adam is in a garden, but Jesus is tempted in the wilderness. The Son enters combat with Satan in the midst of a fallen world, a world under the curse of death; and yet He still triumphed.

“Of course, Jesus is wholly unlike Adam where it counts: unlike Adam, He resists the temptation and keeps the fast that Adam broke. Instead of listening to the word of Satan, Jesus quotes the words of His Father back in Satan’s face. Instead of obeying the serpent and worshiping and serving the creature, Jesus is faithful in serving and worshiping the Creator. Jesus’ combat with Satan is a part of the accomplishment of redemption. As much as the cross and the resurrection, this is a once-for-all event. With this combat, Jesus, the true Seed and Son, begins to crush the serpent’s head.”

-Peter Leithart in The Four: A Survey of the Gospels, (Canon Press, 2010), pp. 180-181


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