I’ve written and preached about Tissot in the past, and continue to believe that his series of watercolors on the life of Christ remains a singular triumph — realistic, challenging, poignant, haunting.
This one, in particular, makes you look at the events in this Sunday’s scripture with new eyes. The devil tempting Jesus isn’t a guy with a red cape, horns and hooves; it’s not Jon Lovitz on SNL. Satan takes the form of a starving, ragged, poor man, begging for bread to keep him alive. In short, a figure God could not possibly refuse.
And yet, Jesus resists.
Tissot reminds us that temptation doesn’t always look evil or ugly — the devil can, as Shakespeare put it, “assume a pleasing shape.”