Testing God or Trusting God?
"If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, 'He will order his angels to protect and guard you...'"
The last temptation that Jesus faced during His time in the wilderness was, in some ways, the most difficult. The Devil took Him to the highest point of the Temple in Jerusalem and told Jesus to throw Himself off of it. The enemy even attempted to use the Scriptures to get Jesus to justify this act. Why was this even a temptation? Who would want to throw themselves off of a high building to certain death?
Throughout Jesus' ministry, the religious leaders asked Him for a sign. They didn't just want to see Jesus heal somebody or multiply some bread and fish. They wanted to see a definative sign/miracle that would establish Jesus as the Messiah. "They demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority."
If Jesus took a swan dive off of the top of the Temple and wasn't hurt, that would probably be enough to convince the Jews that He was God's Chosen One. They would probably immediately crown Him the king and the nastiness of the cross would be avoided. The cross was going to be awful. Any chance to avoid it would be a temptation.
Jesus, however, knew that the Scriptures should not be twisted to accomodate our own agendas. Yes, God may have protected Jesus if He had jumped off of the Temple. Then again, maybe Jesus would have splattered Himself on the pavement. Jesus' answer was, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."
Because Jesus rejected this shortcut to reach the Finish Line, God gave Him access to supernatural, miracle working power throughout His ministry. The miracles that He performed weren't for Himself, however. Jesus said that He came, "not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." In the end, though, God reserved the greatest display of His power for the Resurrection. Because Jesus did not put God to the test, Jesus was resurrected and we have the sure hope of resurrection as well.
Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. We are investing heavily in the next generation and are seeing God do some amazing things! Would you consider joining our team? Together, we can continue to have a powerful impact. Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!