Sunday, February 16, 2003

Satan and the Trinity-Chris Burgwald had an interesting post Friday that I'm getting back to
In a bible study I lead, we recently discussed Matthew ch. 4 and the temptation narrative. Some time ago I came to the conclusion that satan must not know that Jesus was God. Why? First and most important, it is impossible for Jesus--being God--to sin; it is metaphysically impossible. If satan knew that Jesus was God, he would be aware of this, and wouldn't even have bothered. Also, the fact that satan refers to Jesus as "Son of God" does not indicate that he knows Jesus is the Son of God, in that the title was used on numerous occasions in the OT to refer to human beings, individually and collectively. Furthermore, there is no evidence that satan believed that Jesus was God, so why argue in favor of it?
Satan might not have had a handle on what in heck Jesus was. Since he's powerful but not omnipotent or omniscient, Satan could likely sense a "movement in the Force" but not quite be sure what this critter was. "It's human, but has a spiritual signature that stronger than any angel. It's the Messiah, but what does that actually mean?" Either Satan knew he was dealing with God incarnate and just played the role or he thought he might have an outside shot of turning Jesus over to the Dark Side. Given that a lot of smart people to this day can't get their hands around the idea of the Trinity, who's to say Satan didn't get it, either.

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