MovieChat Forums > The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Discussion > There is only one woman with many faces ...

There is only one woman with many faces = it's OK to sleep around?


I'm not saying the film is condoning the above statement. I'm just making a comment on the slyness of the guardian angel (i.e., the devil), who uses the phrase to justify having multiple partners. It's all part of the plan to subtly lead Jesus further from his path.

After Magdalene dies while pregnant with Jesus's child, the false angel turns Jesus's attention to Mary of Bethany: Go ahead and marry / sleep with her. Every woman, while different in appearance, is spiritually your one true love, your Magdalene.

In a later scene, Martha tells Jesus that her sister is away until evening, and beckons him inside the house. For the second time, the angel reminds Jesus that "there is only one woman, but she is with many faces." When Jesus rises and follows Martha, I inferred that Jesus and Martha consummated their relationship.

On closer observation, I find that the false angel was only interested in leading Jesus astray when it came to relations with women. The angel did not or could not make Jesus turn against God. He still remained devout and non-violent; he worked at an honest living; he appeared to be a devoted father; in short, he was still a good man. I think the overriding concern was to derail Jesus's destiny as saviour. In order to do that, the false angel had to exploit Jesus's weakest point -- or his greatest distraction to spiritual life -- and that was his near-equal longing for a family and the bond of a romantic and domestic relationship.

reply

This f.cking "angel", man.

There's a sense of relief when that angel is introduced. You want Jesus' pain to suffer, and you really buy his relationship with Mary Magdalene, so when he's finally given reprieve and the ability to fall in love it's beautiful. But even while not knowing who the angel really was, I was quite leery about how insistent she was on Jesus sleeping around. But you buy it because hey, this is an interesting take on Jesus' story.

But that revelation changes everything. Suddenly I felt duped, just as Jesus had been. I wondered how I could have been so stupid. But Satan's good. Satan even uses the story of Abraham and Isaac as a parallel to what's going on with God and Jesus. He knows what he's doing.

What you said about Jesus' character throughout this last temptation is interesting though. You're right, he never strays from the ideological path that God sent him on. He's still an honest, thoughtful, and hardworking individual, though not without a temper. But it's interesting, the last temptation is almost twofold. He's hooked in not by the promise of a partner and a family, but by not having to die. The temptation is further instilled when he's given Mary, but the initial temptation is getting down from that cross.

I think there's been a rape up there!

reply

You mean you didn't think she was satan goofy? I knew instantly

reply

Well said, Pearl Jade. And for the record, I'm one Christian who was not offended by this movie, but rather inspired. Sure, much of it is speculation, but it raises some questions about the dual nature of Christ that cannot be ignored.

reply

Why, thank you. As you noted, this is a movie that really makes one think about the mysteries of Christianity.

reply

Really interesting take.

I thought something was really fishy about the angel but I didn't know for sure. I didn't know what type of movie it would be, but you can tell a lot of love went into it from Marty & the actors. They wanted to make a thought provoking film, and my take was that the angle used Mary as a way to lure Jesus into a false sense of security. Then used his pain (from loving & losing her) to further lead him down a wrongful path. Not wrong in the sense that it's terrible... in the "what if" scenario Jesus still lived a somewhat normal life, but the false angel was normalizing the idea of "one woman, many faces" which I thought meant more like "everyone's the same." It kind of diluted the idea of compassion & loving someone, which was apart of Jesus' message.

One thing that confused me though was did the "what if" scenario actually happen & God granted his wish to redo his "mistake", or was that just a dream sequence of what life would be like if he hadn't been crucified?

-Who is it?
-It's Grandpa. And it sounds like he's gotten into the horseradish again.

reply