Is the Devil a fictional character?
RS: Devil Assessment
The Devil in the bible is a very debatable subject, and over the years has caused a lot of controversy. Focusing on the Temptations of Jesus, there are a number of different viewpoints towards the devil.
In Matthew 4:1-11, it says that Jesus was lead into the desert for 40 days and nights by the Holy Spirit, who had just come down unto him in his previous baptising, fasted and was tempted thrice by the devil. Once, by telling him to feed the poor by turning stones into loaves of bread, second by daring him to jump off a pinnacle of a temple, and if he really truly was the Son of God he would be saved from death by angels. Lastly, the devil took Jesus upon an exceedingly high mountain, a mountain that showed him the whole world, and he tempted Jesus with power, and if he worshipped the devil, there and now, he would give Jesus power over the whole world. Jesus resisted the temptations.
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If you were to take these words in Matthew literally, you could say that the whole scenario isn’t true because in the third temptation, Jesus was taken by the Devil to the top of a very high mountain, and from Jesus and the Devil could see the world from its peak. This is impossible as there is no mountain tall enough to see the whole world, and seeing as the earth is spherical you would not be able to see the whole world in all its glory at the same time. Christians could argue that this sentence is just symbolic, and that the Devil just spoke these words to Jesus and it was just to symbolise the devil’s evil power losing to the strength of Jesus. This is why Jesus went into the wilderness in the first place, to prove he was both fully god, and fully human.
The Devil is an interesting character in this chapter of the bible. This story can help Christians resist temptations because it shows that their greatest Messiah can resist the greatest of sins placed before him by Satan, and as Christians are aspiring to be like him, as in the eyes of Christians, he lived a perfect life, it is a good moral story for them. It also helps them chose the right choice, and not necessarily the easiest. This factor is highly present in the third temptation.
If Jesus had fallen for these temptations, he would have fallen for the devil’s tricks; therefore he would have failed God, and the human race. He would, by worshipping the devil, become one of Satan’s servants, and he would not have died on the cross, nor would he have showed his love for God, and we wouldn’t have had salvation. As a Christian, I feel that if Jesus had fallen for these tricks of the devil, we would be full of sin and bitterness today, and we wouldn’t have the eternal life that we have now.
I believe the devil isn’t a fictional character because in Matthew 4:1-11 it shows that Jesus was tempted and he resisted, and to me this must have been true because I am a Christian and I believe Jesus died on the cross, and if he had fallen for the temptations he would have failed the human race, meaning that we wouldn’t have been saved from our sins. Jesus did die on the cross, and there is historical proof, so therefore I do believe the devil is a fictional character.
However, being a liberal Christian, I believe the devil is more symbolic, and isn’t a physical person, but more of a presence that is always there, like God. It is he who tempts us to sin, but God who forgives when we fall, unlike Jesus, the man who never sinned.