All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all. (“All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” by Edward Perronet)
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. (Matthew 4:8–11 NLT)
Within electrical engineering, the term short circuit refers to electricity traveling along a low-resistance path not suited to receive a high-volume electrical current. Basically, the electricity finds a new path that is easier for it to travel than the one designed for it. This can lead to broken circuits, fire, and even explosions. When the devil tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world – regardless of whether or not they were his to give in the first place – it appeared that what he was offering Jesus was a shortcut, but it was actually a short circuit. Satan was suggesting to Jesus that He didn’t need to spend three years teaching, performing miracles, proclaiming the arrival of the Kingdom of God, castigating the religious elites, and taking on the ire of the Sanhedrin, nor, Satan claimed, did He need to die and resurrect to be given all authority on heaven and earth. He was telling Jesus that at His name every knee would bow and every tongue declare Him Lord without needing to go through any of the work or struggle.
It ultimately doesn’t matter whether or not the devil could deliver on his promise because Jesus didn’t take the bait. The Savior of the world knew that this short circuit being offered would ultimately not accomplish all that He had set out to do. Even if Jesus achieved all authority on earth through Satan, He would not have reconciled mankind and all of creation to God. He would not have defeated death and allowed us access to new life. He would not have freed us from the chains of the law and showered us with the bountiful grace of God. Jesus was not willing to take this easier path because He knew that in the end it would be fruitless.
It is easy to be tempted to take shortcuts in life, especially if that means circumventing some of the struggles or pain set before us. However, these shortcuts are often short circuits. Every journey through the valley is designed by God for our growth; choosing the path that avoids the valley because we don’t want the pain or struggle is also choosing to avoid becoming more like Christ. Where are you tempted to short circuit God’s work in your life by choosing the easier path? Ask Jesus to give you the strength that He displayed during His temptation.