Daily Readings & Thought for October 14th. “JESUS DEPARTED!”    

Our readings in John [6] tell us of when Jesus, in effect, ran away!  Thousands of people had just personally experienced a great miracle, it is the one miracle recorded in all four gospels; the time when Jesus miraculously fed thousands of people.

People can see miracles, such as healings, even a dead man raised, things experienced by others, but when they personally experience something completely miraculous, it makes a greater impression on them.  The text says that “when they had seen this sign” they said, “This is truly the prophet who is to come into the world” [v.14] and they then “were about to come and take him by force and make him King” [v.15].

The very next words we read are, “He departed again to a mountain by himself alone”   Why did he do this?  He was, in effect, running away from them.   Remember that one of the temptations in the wilderness was also an invitation to Him to take rulership over all the kingdoms of the world [Matt. 4 v.8-9].

Recall also how he answered Pilate’s question, “So you are a king?” by saying, “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world” [John 18 v.37]

What a temptation is was then for him to respond to this opportunity to be immediately proclaimed king – His Father had given him unlimited power [John 3:34] and his destiny was to bring total justice to the world, in ruling over all..  But this would be doing the right thing the wrong way!   This is an extreme example of the more subtle and dangerous temptations we have in life.

Those who think Jesus is God himself are unable to properly comprehend this; but recall the words in the letter to the Hebrews that our High Priest (Jesus) is “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are” [4 v.15]

The Apostle Paul, despite all his dedication in serving Christ admits, “I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” [Romans 7 v.23]   It is clear Jesus was tempted in the same way, but “the law of sin” never won.

In the gospel Matthew wrote, his Master’s temptations in the wilderness were most probably revealed to him through being told about them by Jesus, who described his inner temptation in the form of parables to illustrate for them and us how an  intimate knowledge of what “is written” provides the impetus to turn away from temptation..

So let us follow the example of Jesus and aim to run away from temptations by doing something else, thinking of something else, or by calling a Bible passage to mind as Jesus did in his wilderness temptations – or, as we have just read, by .running away’ to a private place to pray.


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