"Drawing The Line"
June 26, 2008
And (Satan) said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning You,' and 'On their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Matthew 4:6-7
About a month ago, I received a request from a Lutheran group in Florida.
They wanted me to send them an empty bowl - - an empty bowl they would auction off to raise money for a good cause. Not having an extra empty bowl, I sent them a bowl with a handle, otherwise known as a beer stein from Munich. It was something I was glad to do.
In Nebraska we auctioned off a sermon. I was glad to do that, too.
In one of my churches, I got hit with three whipped cream pies. (That raised a few thousand dollars, and the people who won the auction let my wife throw one of the pies.) It wasn't very dignified, but I was glad to do that. Well, sort of.
But there comes a point where a person needs to draw a line.
For example, last week the Archbishop of York made a parachute jump for charity. That's right; he jumped at 12,500 feet and opened his chute at 5,000 feet. Evaluating the experience he said, "I was praying like anybody's business up there."
Of course, nobody should believe jumping out of a plane is a sin. It's not. Even so, I'm not going to jump. Not even to raise $100,000 like the Archbishop was trying to do.
We all have to draw the line somewhere. Even Jesus drew a line. Jesus drew a line when the devil tempted Him to make a free fall from the pinnacle of the temple. Satan assured the Savior it was for a good cause, and He could count on His angels to protect Him.
In reply, Jesus indicated that it's not right to test the Lord. Jesus always drew a line and said no to the devil's enticements. He knew one slip into sin, and we would all be lost.
Truly, all of God's people need to draw a line when it comes to temptation. We need to forget seeing how close we can get to Satan's scandalous suggestions without sinning. Such flirtation with temptation isn't very smart or healthy from a spiritual point of view.
Far better for God's people would be to say right at the beginning of Satan's temptations, "I'm drawing a line here. I'm not going to listen to you; I'm not going to do what you suggest; I'm not going to take that leap to test God."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You drew the line and rejected every temptation set before You. By Your obedience, suffering, death, and resurrection I have been saved. Now may I also be enabled to draw the line against Satan. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries