The Last Temptation

Today and tomorrow I am facilitating an .acom residential on Christology.

One of the things we did today to provoke thought around who Jesus is, was to watch part of the Last Temptation of Christ. Its definitely a thought provoking movie and made all of us feel quite uncomfortable in places as we watched its early scenes. It doesn’t come from an evangelical point of view and conveys an image of Jesus that in many ways is quite foreign.

And therein lies the value. Sometimes we need to be rocketed out of our conceptions of Jesus and even an off beam presentation can make us think more than simply more of the same.

I remember the stir when it first came out in 1989 as Christians protested and objected to it being screened. Of course all that did was send more people along…

We only watched the first 50 minutes and used it to reflect on our own grasp of christology. Scorsese portrayed a very human Jesus, but also a fallen, broken and confused Jesus.

I am looking forward to watching the remainder and chewing it thru.

11 thoughts on “The Last Temptation

  1. This week I’ve been putting together a 5 min. Powerpoint to use at a prayer night. It loops continually and focuses on diffrent images/views of Jesus and keeps flashing the question ‘Which Jesus?’. The aim will be to get people to question their own image/view of Jesus and think about how that image/view effects how they see church/themselves/others.

  2. “source material”

    Was that what you meant Lance?

    I am not using it as source material but as a way of contrasting with the biblical material. It is a way of making people think – not giving them what to think!

  3. Scorcese was astounded at the negative feelings it engendered. He said that the whole point was that the strongest temptation is not the one in which you are offered something evil in place of what God wants, but something good in place of what God wants. Jesus in the film had the chance of something good – a normal family life – and he rejected it for doing the will of God. Scorcese is a legend.

  4. Hey lanc

    I think that was a bit of a cynical jibe mate! Consider the rubbish coming out of Hollywood these days that Christians don’t even think twice about before handing over the best part of a twenty. At least Scorsese has us thinking.

  5. Always good value to watch a provocative film.

    But if the Gospel accounts are starting to leave us feeling a bit “jaded”… then maybe it’s because we’ve failed to read them properly?

    The more I read the Gospel accounts, the more I find myself blown away — and that’s after 28 years of reading! Truly, “living and active”.

  6. I would agree Mike. I was thinking about it this week. The Bible – particularly the Gospels – are the only texts that I can read over and over and over again without feeling “I’ve been there, done that”. I can’t seem to get into a book the second time I read it – even great books on the faith. But the Bible – yes, it really is living and active.

  7. Yeah – I agree Mike.

    I think you can become familiar, but having just done a week of study in Mark 15 its amazing what you see afresh!

    It does take more than acursory read though to engage with the Bible and i think that is where the wheels fall off for many

  8. True – just started reading through the entire Bible in 90 days (cos I can!) and found Genesis amazing, especially how its theology is so consistent with the theology of the NT – despite the years between

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