Jesus didn't take the Bait
In Luke 11:16 we are told that the people wanted Jesus to perform a miracle for them. The Bible calls it a test. It is a difficult test to pass. The first challenge usually comes with a question like, what could this hurt? After all Jesus was and is in the miracle business. For us, the thought goes something like, “I am just using my gifts and talents, what’s the problem?” The problem is purpose. Are we using our talents and abilities to impress others or bring glory to God? That is a difficult question to answer. It is also a question that we must continue to ask ourselves. Jesus did not take the bait. He did not go down the people-pleasing path. He did not defend his identity or fall into insecurity because of trying to please people. He kept his eyes on the Father. This is one of the most powerful attributes of Christ, he never took his focus off of the Father. People-pleasing is one of the fastest ways many people, especially Christians, become distracted. People-pleasing comes at the price of forgetting our God-given purpose. It causes harm to our spiritual health. It will instigate an identity crisis. Jesus was caring and considerate of others without being a people-pleaser. Jesus made an enormous impact without being a people-pleaser. In John 2:17 we are reminded that Jesus was seriously focused on representing the Father with excellence. The word used in that verse is zeal. Zeal is great energy, enthusiasm and passion in single-minded focus and determination. Zeal for God will lead us to making a healthy impact upon others and a serious difference in this world. Zeal for God is living a life that truly matters. Trying to please people and hoping that it pleases God is an all- too-common approach that leads to confusion about our purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God. With such a purpose firmly fixed we cannot help but raise the bar on our discipleship.