52. Jesus transported by the Devil to the pinnacle of the temple, from thence to the summit of a mountain, and tempted by him, is one of these parables so common with him, which public credulity has transformed into material fact.
53. The following explanation is taken from a teaching given by a spirit on this subject:
“Jesus was not carried by an evil spirit, as above affirmed; but he wished to make men comprehend that humanity is subject to failure, and that it must always be on guard against the bad inspirations to which its weak nature is subjected. The temptation of Jesus is, then, a figure of speech, and one must be blind to take it literally. Why would you desire that the Messiah, the ‘Word’ of God incarnate, should be submitted for a time, however short, to the suggestions of the Devil; and that, as the evangelist Luke writes, the Devil had quitted him for a time, which would make one imagine that he would yet be submitted to his power? No; comprehend better the teachings which have been given you. The Spirit of Evil had no power over the Spirit of Goodness. No one has been said to have seen Jesus upon the temple or upon the mountain. Certainly, if it had been a fact, it would have been noticed by the people. The temptation was then not a material or physical act. As to the moral side of it, could you admit that the spirit of darkness could tempt him who knew his origin and power with the words: ‘Adore me, and I will give you all the kingdoms of the Earth?’ The devil in that case must have been ignorant of who he was, to whom he made such offers, which is not probable. If he knew him, his proposition was nonsensical; for he must have well known that he would repel one who came to ruin his empire over men.
“Comprehend the sense of this parable; for it is one, as well as the ‘Prodigal Son’ and the ‘Good Samaritan.’ One shows us the dangers men run if they resist not this inmost voice, which constantly cries, ‘you can be more than you are; you can possess more than you now possess; you can grow great, increase, acquire. Listen to the voice of ambition, and all your wishes will be fulfilled.’ It shows to you the danger and the means of evading it, by saying to the evil inspirations, ‘Away from me, Satan!’ or, in other words: ‘go away from me, temptation.’
The other two parables show what hope there is for him who, too feeble to cope with temptation, has succumbed to it. It shows you the father blessing the repentant child, and according to him with love the pardon implored. They show you that the guilty, the schismatic, the man who is repelled by his brother, as being worth more in the eyes of the Supreme Judge than those who despise him because that he practices the virtues taught by the law of love.
“Weigh well the teachings given in the Gospels; learn to distinguish the proper sense from the figurative; and the errors which have blinded you so many centuries will, little by little, be effaced, in order to make place for the brilliant light of truth.” — Bordeaux, 1862, by St. John the Evangelist.