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Shortcuts and Scripture

Considerations (Part II of II) Our long, difficult spiritual journey always brings the temptation to give up this sometimes painful pilgrimage to paradise. But if we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we have to recognize that such obedience is going to take us through long periods of frustration, hard work, and the ordinary. We need to be prepared for our spiritual commitment the way Jesus was prepared for His spiritual journey, by trusting and knowing Scripture. Everywhere along the way, our Lord’s response to temptation and testing, to accepting less than God’s will, to taking shortcuts, was a response from Scripture. In the Lord’s wilderness confrontation with Satan, Jesus repeatedly went to Scripture to rebuke Satan. The tempter said to Jesus, “If you want the people to follow you, take a shortcut, use your wonderful powers to give them material things.” Satan was suggesting Jesus should bribe people into following Him. Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Jesus’ answer to temptation, to shortcuts, was, “It is written! It is written!” And Jesus quoted Deut. 8:3 to say a man will never find life in material things. Satan urged Jesus to jump from the highest point on the temple, unhurt, and the people would instantly proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. A shortcut that would give Jesus the necessary recognition without the time consuming labor and pains of teaching and preaching. Matthew 4:7, Jesus answered Satan, “It is written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 to say to Satan He would not take shortcuts by making sensational and senseless experiments with the power of God. Jesus saw quite clearly that if He produced sensations He could be a “nine day wonder,” but He also saw that sensationalism would never last. No shortcut here. In the final wilderness temptations of the Gospel of Matthew, Satan wants Jesus to compromise a little with evil, take a shortcut and not set the holy standards so high, and everything could be His. Matthew 4:10, Jesus said to Satan, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20 in essence to say to Satan that God is God, right is right and wrong is wrong; there can be no compromise or shortcuts in ...

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