Do No Harm

Text: Luke 4:9-12
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
(NRSV)

Some of the details of the final temptation in the wilderness make this text very thought-provoking.  First, the devil is now using scripture and says, “For it is written…”  Second, Jesus, instead of saying “it is written,” says, “It is said”.  Of course, what Jesus is talking about can be found in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 6.

What I want to think about this morning is the fact that the devil is using scripture to tempt Jesus.  It is important that I do not use scripture to promote things that I want that can come between God and me or be harmful to others.  It is a temptation to use scripture to support the things we want to do, even when those things can actually separate us from God, bring about harm, or cause other unintended consequences.

Scripture was used to promote slavery, scripture was used to promote genocide during the time of Manifest Destany in the early spread of our country across the North American continent, scripture was used to prevent women from voting, and scripture is still being used today as a political football.

Perhaps the lesson here is that I not only need to carefully use scriptures to support my agenda, but I need to think through the possible harm to others as I use it.  If there was one thing that Jesus was absolutely clear about, and there were actually many, it was that love of God and love of others were the most important commands of all.  John Wesley said it this way, “Do no harm.”

Pray with me:

God of love and God of truth speak into my heart as I use your word to be passionate about your way.  Help me to always remember that foremost in the heart of your Son, Jesus was to love you and to love others and to do no harm.  AMEN.

No Comments


Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

no categories

Tags

Anger Authentic Bible Body of Christ Broken world Centered Changed Child of God Chosen people Comfortable Denominations Discipleship Discipline Doubt Faith Following Jesus Generosity Gifts of the Spirit Giving God at work God's Glory God's call God's creation God's economy God's face God's first words God's leading God's light God's love God's plan God's presence God's timing God's voice God's ways God's way God's will be done God's will God's word God\'s Glory God\'s face God\'s first words God\'s leading God\'s light God\'s love God\'s presence God\'s will be done God\'s will God\'s word God\\\'s leading God\\\'s love God\\\\\\\'s love Godhead God Hands and feet of Jesus Hearing God Holiness Holy Spirit Jealous Jesus is Lord Jesus the healer Jesus Justice Kingdom life Kingdom of God Knowing God Laughter Light of the world Living Word Lord and God Lord Made new Newness of life Norms Obey Radical Transformation Recreate Refreshed Sabbath Sanctified Satan Saul Savior Seeing God Shalom Soulmate Spirit of God Standing before God Stumbling Testify The Church The Gospel of Jesus Christ The Great Commission The family of God The new people of God The people of God Transformation Trinity Truth in love Truth Unconditional love Values Voice of God Weary Worship Written word abundance action affirmation anchor answered prayer anxiety arguing arguments ask God asking God assurance attentive awe be ready believe born again born from above bright broken call to ministry calm caretakers celebrate children of God choice choosing comfort commandments community compassion confession conversation with God creation decision defending God dependent depression devotions direction discouraged disney distractions diversity divided do no harm dream big empowered equality eternal life evangelism evidence examine excuses expectations expecting God experience failure faint faithful fear finding God finding Jesus focus follow through forgiveness free from sin free will freedom gathered giving God the glory goals godly good news good works grace grief grieving guidance happiness hard hate healing helpless help holy living holy hope humility hunger ice cream injustice intentional intercesor intervene intimate joy justify knowing Jesus knowledge learning letting go life in the Kingdom life lightning light listening living together living looking for God love God love neighbor love self love loving God loving Jesus loving others mature meaning meditate meditation mercy ministry miracles miserable mission mistakes motivation new begging new life olympics overcome overflowing partnering pay no attention peace persecuting Jesus persistence power praise pray big prayer praying predestination prepare priorities proclaim promises of God pure purity purpose real deal reconciliation recreated redeeming redeem refining refuge rejection rejoice relationship remember repent rescue response rest resurrection revelation righteousness risk rules sacrifice salvation sanctification scarcity scripture searching seeking God self-care selfish selfless servant servent service set apart share shine brightly shine simple simplicity simplify sinners sinner sin solitude spending time with Jesus spiritual disciplines spiritual exercises spiritual growth spirituality start over status quo stewardship steward storms stress struggle success suffering teaching temptation test thankfulness thanksgiving the great commandments the unknown thunder time with God tired together transfiguration trust in God trust understanding unexpected victory vision waiting on God walking with God wear out welcome wisdom witness wonder worries worry