The Last Temptation Of Christ Essay Research

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The Last Temptation Of Christ Essay, Research Paper When we think of the life of Jesus Christ, our main source is the Bible. This great literary work does an excellent job of portraying Him as God s chosen Messiah. He is very accepting of His job and is open to the suffering He endures throughout His life and during His death. Jesus has always been the pious, chaste man that people have come to know ever since the Bible was written. He always resisted temptation, never feared evil, and never once doubted that God was not His father, nor did He ever sin. Looking at Jesus life through the viewpoint of the Bible is, in many ways, incorrect. In the Bible, Jesus is God made human, not just human alone. Because of His divinity, He easily avoids all the maladies of the world. Near

the end of His life, He only has one moment of self-doubt. This moment comes while He is on the cross. This glimpse of Jesus humanity, though relieving to the reader, does not fully reveal His character to us. In Nikos Kazantzakis The Last Temptation of Christ, the character of Jesus Christ is revealed to us as not God as human, but human as human. Jesus journey to Golgotha was much more difficult than we thought. Not just that final journey, where He was humiliated and tortured in front of the people He loved so dearly, but the journey of his whole life, from beginning to end. It began from the moment He was born. Kazantzakis brilliantly reveals Jesus to us in a new light by doing something so heretical and controversial. He does something that has never been conceived by any

other man on the face of this Earth. This evil deed, this sacrilegious act that he performs is the humanization of Jesus the Christ. He does this by implementing the emotion of fear within Him. Fear is a characteristic that all humans have. Jesus, according to the Bible, never possessed this characteristic. However, we learn that Jesus did have this quality. It is through the personification of the future Messiah that we learn of Jesus faults. Jesus does not want to be the Chosen One for God; He does not want to fulfill all of the deeds that God wishes. Instead, He questions his motives for even setting out on the missions He does. Even in the beginning of the story when God is trying to speak to Him, Jesus rejects Him by saying: Yes, yes, I m afraid You want me to stand up and

speak, do you? What can I say, how can I say it? I can t, I tell you! I m illiterate What did you say? The kingdom of heaven I don t care about the kingdom of heaven (Kazantzakis, 28). He further rejects God in this scene by saying that he wishes God would choose someone other than him. This shows that Jesus was afraid of accepting the mission of God right away. He is emotional in his protestations to God. He is too scared to fulfill his mission. Even Mary does not willfully accept God s plan for Jesus. She responds by saying, I want my son a man like everyone else, nothing more, nothing less (64). The overpowering aspect of Jesus fear is that He does not fully realize He is afraid until he is on the road to Capernaum. On the way there, he meets up with Mary Magdalene, who is a

whore. When He enters her chamber, she has just had intercourse with several men and is lying in her bed, naked. When He asks her to remember when they were children, she replies by saying: What kind of a man are you? Still driveling? You ought to be ashamed of yourself! You never had the courage to stand up by yourself like a man and not rely on anyone. If you re not hanging on to your mother s apron strings, you re hanging to mine, or God s. You can t stand by yourself, because you re scared. You don t dare look keep into your own soul or into your body for that matter because you re scared! Scared, scared (91)! This quote from Mary sums up the feelings that Jesus is currently having. He doesn t have the courage to make the stand God has asked of Him. He doesn t look into his