Then the devil took Him (Jesus) to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and 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.'" Matthew 4:5-6
Shortcuts. That's what the devil was offering Jesus: a shortcut.
"Jump off the temple," Satan said. "Jump off! The angels will protect You; people will believe on You, and You won't have to go through any of that nasty suffering and dying."
Jesus resisted that temptation as He resisted all temptations. He never forgot His job was to offer His life and His death as our ransom.
"Jump off!" The devil likes to offer shortcuts to us all. Sometimes we take those shortcuts, and that's always a mistake.
That's probably what Thomas Magill is thinking right now. While nobody is quite sure about all the facts, eyewitnesses say Magill jumped from the 39th floor of a New York high rise.
Thirty-nine floors is a long way.
Those who saw the whole thing said he came down -- straight down -- and landed in the backseat of a Dodge Charger. Magill broke both his legs and police said he was in critical condition, but he was alive.
Now I certainly can't be sure Magill was trying to take a shortcut out of some kind of problem, but I know many people do. Satan whispers to the student, "Go ahead and cheat." To the businessman he says, "Go ahead and pad your expense account." To the unhappy spouse he says, "Go ahead. You have a right to be happy. An affair won't matter."
Shortcuts. They sound so good at the time, but they work out so poorly in eternity.
Far better, far wiser, far smarter, and far righter it is to come to the Savior. He who gave His life for our life has volunteered to hear us and help us.
His help may not always be the fastest or the easiest, but it is always the right way to go.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You never tried to take a shortcut in the winning of our salvation. At every turn You resisted Satan's temptations and because You did, I am saved. Now may I come to You with my problems and avoid the devil's temptations to do wrong. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries