It never really occurred to me before that the devil tempts Jesus with authority here early in his ministry (4:6). Authority is one of those things that Jesus declares after the resurrection (Matthew 28:18). I have no doubt that the devil was offering Jesus a “shortcut,” so to speak, but I had never grasped the explicitness of it until this morning.
Jesus obviously isn’t a pragmatist. The best way is always God’s way. It may not be the quickest, or even most effective, but it is the right way. I wonder sometimes, where am I tempted to take short cuts? I get how authority without the cross was a temptation to power here, but I wonder if it wasn’t also a temptation to take the shorter, quicker, most effective route?
Tree’s produce fruit after their kind (6:43-45). The scripture isn’t concerned with how much fruit there is here (though there are thought on this in other passages). What is at stake isn’t how much, but what kind. Makes me think about what kind of stuff comes out of my life? Is my life overflowing with the joy I have in Jesus or is it something else? If it is something else, what? why?
This passage also isn’t concerned with growth. I think I might step on some toes here but there is a way to grow in the wrong direction. Bad trees grow and they produce bad fruit. The measure of the Christian life isn’t just generic growth, but specific fruit. What kind of fruit are you producing.
There is much more to ponder, but here is where I hung out in my thoughts and meditation today. Am I producing the real fruit of Godliness in my life? Are you?
Here is how I am praying today:
FATHER, thank you that Jesus didn’t give in to temptation, but was tempted in all ways as we are, yet was without sin. I am glad that you understand my temptations. Today I pray that you would lead me away from the things that tempt us to sin and closer to you. I pray that we would be those who don’t only hear your word, but we would be those who do your word. I ask that the real fruit of godliness would be evident in my life. We don’t want to play at Christianity or church. We want all that you have for us. I pray that you make us all more like Jesus. Thank you for the gift of leading and praying with others. I ask for your blessings on us today, may it be a fruitful day for your kingdom and your glory. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.