A Possibility You Have to Refuse

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 19:39-40

Teacher, rebuke your disciples. (v. 39)

Temptation is a possibility that you have to refuse. Palm Sunday presented a possibility that Jesus had to refuse. The uprising of the people, the shouting that he was the Messiah, the King of Israel—that must have been awfully heady stuff for Jesus. He was being tempted with fame, power, and glory. The Pharisees snorted, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” But Jesus was not about to clamp down on the celebration. “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (v. 40). I think Jesus rather enjoyed this demonstration on his behalf.

Fame, power, and glory—that was one of the temptations at the outset of Jesus’ ministry, remember? “The devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,” says Luke, “and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory . . . If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours’” (Luke 4:5-7).

But just as Abraham chose wandering instead of security, and just as Moses chose the wilderness of Sinai instead of the pleasures of Egypt, so Jesus chose the cross instead of the fame, power, and glory that lay open to him. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, says Hebrews, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (12:2).

Whatever it is that lures you to leave the path onto which God has called you, that is a temptation, a possibility you have to refuse. —Lou Lotz

Prayer: Lord, make me strong in the time of temptation.