I am reading Anne Rice’s second book on Christ The Lord called The Road to Cana. This excerpt is from when Satan is tempting Jesus in the desert:
SATAN: I’m offering you a victory your people have not had for four hundred years. And if you do not do this thing your people are finished. The world is swallowing them, Yeshua bar Joseph… If you don’t give them this last chance, to come together under a mighty leader, your people will not die of hunger or thirst or by the sword or by the spear. They’ll simply fade away. They’re doing it already and they will keep on doing it, forgetting their sacred language, mingling through wives and ambitious youths … I give it what? A hundred years? Without a victory it will not be that long. It will be finished. It will be like it never was.
Jesus: It’s I who have come to stop you! It is I who’ve come to reveal that your dispair is a fraud! I’m here to tell one and all that you are no Ruler, and never were, that in the great scheme of things you are no more than a filthy brigand, a thief on the margins, a scavanger circling in impotent envy the camps of men and women! And I will come to destroy your fabled rule, as I destroy you – as I drive you out, blot you out – and not with hulking armiesin baths of blood, not with the raging smoke and terror you so crave, not with swords and spears dripping with broken flesh. I will do it as you cannot imagine it – I will do it by family, by camp, by hamlet and village and town. I will do it at the banquet tables in the smallest rooms and greatest mansions of cities. I will do it heart by heart. I will do it soul by soul. Yes, the word is ready. Yes, the map is drawn. Yes, the Scripures goes forth in the common language of the world. Yes. And so I go on my way to do it, and you have struggled here once more – and forever – in vain.” (p 195,198-199)
He (Satan) was nearly petrified with fury.
“You stupid, miserable little village prophet!” He said, “They’ll laugh you out of Nazereth!”
“It is the Lord God who rules”, I (Jesus) said, “and he always has. You are nothing, and you have nothing and you rule nothing. Not even your minions share with you in your emptiness and your rage.”
He was red-faced and speechless.
“…and always, always you seek to drive men to dispair, to convince them in your envy and greed that your archenemy, the Lord God, is beyond your their reach, beyond their pain, beyond their need. You lie! You have always lied! If you ruled this world you wouldn’t offer to share a particle of it. You couldn’t. There would be no world for you to share, because you would destroy it.