Don't jump!

There's a big difference between the pure, gentle impulsions of divine Love and the pushiness of the tempter.

The Gospel of Matthew describes a time early in Christ Jesus' ministry when he was in the wilderness being "tempted of the devil" (see Matt. 4:1–11). One challenge the tempter presented was for him to jump down from "a pinnacle of the temple," probably a corner of the outer court that commanded a panoramic view.

Since the tempter had no power actually to cast Jesus down, he was daring the Master to cast himself down, goading him to prove his divine nature by performing a daredevil stunt. Jesus resolutely refused to do it—he refused to jump. And that very refusal, given with divine authority and contrary to all the tempter's emotional propaganda and bullying, contained the genuine proof of Jesus' divine nature.

Those who are Christ Jesus' disciples walk in his footsteps. They will encounter trials and temptations, just as he did. But they need never wonder as to the outcome of such trials, nor lose the way by which to walk through them. Jesus has clearly left behind an example to direct, sustain, and encourage his followers.

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The dance of Spirit
August 16, 1993

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