Friday, May 20, 2005

The Messiah's different approach

Luke 4:9-13
And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. (NASB, Lockman Foundation)

Satan actually resorted to using the words of Scripture to convince Jesus to sin. He will do the same to us. Satan will subtly try to tell us how we should (mis)apply the things that God has told us. Had Jesus done this He could have had a strong claim to Messiah-hood. Not only would the masses have acclaimed his supernatural abilities, but it would have fit the Zealots picture of a conquering Messiah. Many were waiting for a literal fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-3 where it is prophesied that the anointed one would suddenly appear in the temple. Surely had Jesus done this He would have been hailed as the religio-political freedom fighter come to set Israel’s wrongs right. But that is not why Jesus came. He came to show individuals a way of living that is different-the way of shalom: true peace. Jesus had such firm sense of His mission that He was not distracted by Satan’s attempt to have Him misapply something else that He may have felt was of God. But also note that the devil only left for a time; he wasn’t finished.

Instead of doing something that could quite possibly had gained Him the support of the skeptical Sadducees and Pharisees, He went the lowly way that God had called Him to take. Am I willing to take God's way rather than the way that seems best to me?

No comments: