Forty days is too long for any man to fast, but he calls himself Son of God. Of course Moses was one of those—figuratively speaking—and he managed the fast, but I got him. Stopped him from crossing into the holy land. So what if I didn’t haul him off to hell. I’ll win on this Son of God, though.
I watch this Jesus from a distance. I don’t show my face. I rarely do. People have these notions of me; you know, horns, a tail. No, no. Angel of light’s the better description, straight from the Good Book. That’s it; I gotta get him with Scripture! He’s a Rabbi, after all. He lives and breathes Scripture.
I start to brainstorm. This Son of God’ll be a tough customer. He’s one of those new prophets that have a handle on prayer. Not so long ago a voice from up there called him “Beloved Son.” Who knows if it was a miracle? I do miracles too, so who knows where the voice came from.
I’ve gotta stop rambling. Jesus is pulling himself together to go to town. I can’t let him get away. I follow close to give him ideas, careful to keep things psychological so he won’t catch on. He’s real hungry. I can tell, because he’s stumbling, so I manipulate his thoughts . . .”You can turn these rocks to bread, you know.”
I’m just testing his Son of God title. Like a good Rabbi he comes back with “Not by bread alone . . . “ then he sinks to his knees. He’s so weak from his fast I can see his mind churning. It’s a good time to move him. I get him to the temple. In his condition he thinks he’s really there on top of the pinnacle. The mind plays tricks on you when you’re delirious. When you get so mentally down, suicide is an option. I make him an offer, “Go ahead, throw yourself down. The angels will protect you.”
In one of those rare moments of light that some holy men pressured toward suicide experience, Jesus answers, “You shall not put God to the test.” Ok, so I leaned a little too hard. I loose round two.
Maybe it’s fame. Every man wants glory, why else would he accept the title Son of God. I know he’s taking on religious leadership. Why else would he fast so long. I try another angle. I use a direct tactic, because I notice his head’s clearing a little. I present myself as a wayfarer asking for the best path up the mountain. We walk together talking of his plans for the future. I trap him with thoughts of gaining followers, like his cousin John. I tell him to follow his destiny, because the people need him, since John’s in prison. We reach the top of the hill and he takes a deep breath. I wave my hand over the expanse below. “You know,” I say, “All this can be yours . . . “
He turns to look straight at me, like he’s been shocked awake by the fresh air. He’s found me out. He knows who I am.
“Get away, Satan,” he says.