Article by Bro.kiran Temptations of Jesus in the ecological point of view
Temptations of Jesus in the ecological point of view
In this modern age we are encrusted with so much of Natural calamities due to various reasons and some of them are like climate change, increase in the frequency of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, threatening the existence of some species due to changes in habitat, causing an increase in the global temperature etc… It is clearly proved that one of the major causes for climate change is the different developmental activities of human beings.
The quest for development is seen from the beginning of the human beings. But the development in the modern century is increasing the gap between poor and rich in the society. The developments are creating lot of poor people and it is very clearly seen during the time of industrial revolution. During the industrial revolution, the world witnessed an unprecedented social and economic change and growth. This divided the world into the developed and the developing countries. The development during 1960s made the criterion for the growth as gross national products. During the further years there was a great westernization in the developing countries like India without considering local realities. This helped only to accumulate more wealth by the rich and poor became poorer. The emergence of new supermarkets made the sellers into few hands. The great mining, big dams, industrial sectors evacuated large number of ordinary people. When this ordinary ones lost their homes and agriculture land they automatically went into forest and start deforestation. Some other developments directly uprooted the trees and plants. Most of the development was only limited to one sided and it was not supporting the integral ecology.
Development introduces biological, chemical and physical dangers to the environment. Biological dangers includes poisons in solid waste and water, it creates various diseases and infections. Chemical dangers includes different types of pollutions like air pollution, sound pollution, poor sanitation, inadequate water create different health issues. Poor waste management is another reason for water and air pollution. This will change our home into a hell. In this article I just would like highlight how an individual as to be in tuned with natural process to attain something in life, here I take the example of the temptations of Jesus our master, looking from the ecological point of view.
Temptation of Jesus
The temptation scene is peculiar for several reasons and here I want to read this temptation of Jesus in an ecological point of view. The devil appears and speaks to Jesus directly and Jesus responds three times according to the question of the devil. The temptation is explained as follows: “that which allow us to forget the future” or in other words it is an immediate gratification. The modern development most of the time comes under this temptation because developmentalists are seldom bothered about the future. They want to make maximum profit and immediate gratification. The so called development is making them to forget the future of our mother earth. Like all other temptations here, too the so-called developmentalists are interested only on the immediate result. When someone is using plastic, when someone levels a mountain or levels a marshy land to construct big buildings the only interest is the immediate development. They are not interested to see the aftereffects of such developments or how it is going to affect the mother earth.
Now I would present to you the three temptation of Jesus. Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. In this context, the devil is asking Son of God to command these stones to become loaves of bread. We know that He is able. Is it necessary to make those stone to bread? If it goes under a certain process surely it will become. It will take thousands of years to change one rock piece to become a good cultivable soil. Then preparing the soil and sowing the seed, with proper water and manure will able to produce good crop. This grain is taken for grinding and this powder is used to make bread. It is a gradual process. When we think of short cuts for a natural process, it is temptation. Devil is asking for a shortcut way. This is the problem of the humanity that we see today and this converting stone to bread may vary according to the place. Sometimes in the cities, we can see the change of agricultural and marshy land into big building by filling with mud and building big flat or shopping complex. This will create flood problem in the city during the rainy season. Why no one is thinking about the usefulness of this marshy land, during the rainy season this land will help to absorb the rainwater again into the earth. The other side for a farmer it will be like using a lot of high pesticides and chemicals to get high crop. Here a farmer is thinking only for a short term profit, but in the long run the land will be futile and barren. And for a multinational company it will be like scavenging more coal or any other natural resources by destroying the nature. All these activities will destroy the motherly earth. Together with this it is also to reflect about our own ability and resources which God gave to each one, it is for the society and not for the personal growth. When one runs behind in personal growth automatically that person makes a lot of short cuts and this will one way or other destroy the nature and generate more and more poor people.
The second question the devil is asking, ‘if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down? If you jump angels will come and hold you. When we hear we feel it is great sign of God, but remember it is against natural law. We propagate a God who supports you without following natural law. This is really unfair. It is natural when one jumps from high, either one loses his or her life or remains alive with so many fractures. When one says God should protect even violating natural law, then that person is creating a God according to his/her needs. To follow God, it is better to start with natural law. It is very easy to enter into the law of God through natural law. The forest, marshy land, rivers, small hilly areas have a special role in that particular area and it is our duty to safeguard it. The greedy people want to destroy those areas in the name of quarry, mines, constructions, etc. When we create nuclear reactors around the world remember that it creates a lot of harm to the atmosphere and to the world at large, one can never say that it would never affect our country or state, it affects everything and everyone. When we ran behind developments let us try to respect our nature and natural law.
The third question was “all these (splendour of the world) I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus clearly understood the similarity between evil and splendour of the world. He gave a very strong response to Satan telling, “Be off, Satan Scripture says: worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.” When one person is accumulating a lot of wealth, is not the sign of the presence of God in that person but the sign of the presence of the Satan, who is adjusting with Satan by accumulating the wealth through wrong means and ways. This is what we find today in the present scenario, exploiting the earth and acquiring the wealth. The creation of great industries, mining centres, quarries, are run only according to the profit rule and interest of a few. Those rules and theories have never respected the mother earth.
- Questions for Action
- Do we understand the real meaning of development? Is it really supporting the integral ecology?
- Do we have the patience to go through the real process of development?
- What is your opinion about short cuts to development?
- If we realize the development is essential for the society, then what is your attitude towards nature and ordinary people in the society?
- What is your opinion about wealth and rich people? Is it grace of God?
- What is your attitude towards natural laws and to the nature?
- Which are the areas that we can apply, integral ecological development in our own life? how can we start a real beginning?