April 5 I Friday
1 Samuel 1-3
“The devil led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If You are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw Yourself down from here.’” —Luke 4:9
In the above verse, Satan is not only trying to tempt Jesus but mocking Him. He is essentially saying, “If You really are the Son of God, how come no one knows? Show the world who You are. Jump down from here. Angels will save You. Get Yourself on the map, Jesus.” This temptation appealed to the pride of life, which is our egos—the desire to be recognized as someone important and influential.
In this instance, God was testing Jesus in His attitude towards reputation, while the devil was tempting Him with instant recognition. Again, Jesus answered by quoting Scripture. “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Luke 4:12). Jesus demonstrates He has no interest in reputation. In fact, Philippians 2:7 (KJV) says that Jesus made Himself of no reputation by taking the very nature of a servant. The NIV says
He made Himself nothing, and Jesus says of Himself, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:45).
Many of us cannot help having a reputation but trying to create and maintain one can be like dragging around a ball and chain. Once we become interested in establishing a reputation, we come under the pressure of what others think of us. This is fertile ground for the seed of hypocrisy to take root. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about this when He talked about hypocrites who give to the poor, pray on street corners and fast to be seen by men. They have lost the true significance of giving, praying and fasting and are simply living under the pressure of maintaining their reputations.
Jesus said He always does what pleases the Father (John 8:29), and this earned Him a bad reputation with many people, especially the Jewish hierarchy. They called Him a drunkard, a glutton, and reminded Him that He was an illegitimate child. But in making Himself of no reputation, Jesus left it to His Father to establish one for Him. Eventually, His reputation would be intact. Philippians 2:8-9 says, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name...” Jesus’s role was to humble Himself, and the role of the Father was to exalt Him.
As Christians, we are to humble ourselves before God, not to worry about reputation or even concern ourselves with repairing a bad one. As we do what pleases the Father, our reputation is left in His hands, and it is His prerogative to establish one for us.
Prayer: Exalted Lord, keep me mindful not to be concerned about my reputation. May my focus remain placed on You and living a godly life. Thank You, Jesus.