But wait a minute. You might have forgotten that Jesus, alone in a place of total desolation (through human desire?) around AD 30, overcame those same three desires? He was encouraged by his accuser to change stones into bread (1) “The tree was good for food”, and was then offered all the authority and glory of all the world’s nations (2) “It was a delight to the eyes”, and was finally asked to take the initiative, to assert his autonomy over his Father by forcing his Father to save him (3) “The pride of life”. But no – his desire was to do God’s will.
Have you also forgotten that this same Jesus sought to re-focus the desires of Peter, the desires of all his followers and the desires of all people in the crowd to whom he spoke? Calling the crowd to him with his disciples, Jesus says to them, “If anyone would come with me, then (1) deny self and (2) take up your own execution stake and (3) follow me.” (1) “Deny self” – instead of (1) “the tree is good for food”? (2) “Take up your own execution stake” instead of (2) “it is a delight to the eyes”? (3) “Follow me” instead of (3) “the tree is to be desired to make one wise”?
Take a look at the words in bold above. Some Greeks in Jerusalem for the Passover feast AD 30 desire to see Jesus. There’s something rather staggering about that. Their desire is to see Jesus.
Jesus’ response is cryptic but clear. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” He will now be seen by all.
Jesus is saying, in effect, “Yes, the time has come for ALL to see me – to see me in my glory. And when they see me in my glory I shall be falling into the earth and dying - like a grain of wheat.” Is his own death “glory”? Is it really glorious when the desires of this world in opposition to him actually succeed?