The Jesus Way
Transforming Lord, in my turbulent world, bring creation from chaos, joy from sorrow, peace from hate, and hope from despair.
Read LUKE 4:1-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
We would do well to remember that the Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground; then, we’ll be better prepared to live it well.
“A glorious beginning, a great start. The baptism, the descent of the dove-Spirit, the voice from heaven. Yes. Momentum is up. Jesus is on his way. And we who are ready to follow Jesus are also on his way” (Eugene Peterson). Surely this can’t be right? Having announced their campaign, what an effective public leader does is to keep building their profile, getting out there and engaging with the public. Already we see that Jesus doesn’t fit the mold, that the way he goes about leadership is profoundly countercultural. What in fact happens is that Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, is led by that same Spirit into the wilderness, where he is tempted by the devil for 40 days. He apparently goes willingly, and Mark tells us that he goes “at once” (Mark 1: 12 ) with no hanging around for photo-shoots or autographs!
Time in the wilderness grappling with the temptations was essential if Jesus was to be fully prepared for the task ahead and model for us the “how” of authentic discipleship. The temptations clarified at the outset the ways in which he would do his work as the Messiah, what living in the kingdom of God would look like. Paul, too, spent time in the wilderness after his conversion (Gal. 1:17) indicating that seasons of testing and temptation are purposeful and shouldn’t be feared or rejected.
We may know we are God’s child and be sure of his calling on our lives, but the key question is how we go about living that life. The devil didn’t try to get Jesus to renounce his identity or his call. Rather, he focused on the ways Jesus would pursue it, on what it meant for him not just to be the way to God but also the way of God for us to follow.
Study the temptations here. Note how Jesus overcame them. Then pray for courage to live the Jesus way, the way of the Lord’s Kingdom.
Father, keep me alert to the schemes of the devil who would have me accept less than the best that You have for me and lesser priorities than Yours.
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