Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Luke 4.1-13 - ‘If you are the Son of God…..’ The word if is a destabilising word. It corrodes trust, it undermines confidence, it slackens our hold on our certainties.
‘If you really cared about me…..’
If you were really serious about…..
If it had been me I would have…..
If. A word that, used with precision and cunning, calls our integrity, our identity, our intentions, our motives, our core values, our moral priorities into question. 'If you are the Son of God……' Three times, ‘If you are…’.
Three times an interrogation of the soul, a sifting of the heart, a politely framed enquiry, disguising the fear and panic of self-promoting evil encountering the obedient self-giving of the Servant and Son of God.
If you are – prove it!
If you are – live it!
If you are – test it!
And throughout Jesus' ministry, his response to the If you are question will be, 'I AM….'

But why test a certainty?
Why prejudice implicit trust?
Why prove what is eternally true, that in Jesus, God is reconciling the world to himself?

And that drama in the desert, the drama of If..., becomes also the drama of Christian obedience.
If you are a child of God…
If God is to be trusted….
If what you say you believe, you really believe, then…

If, has consequences. In the end our obedience is rooted in the obedience of Christ. Our faithfulness in small things is made possible by his faithfulness unto death. Our victories are won, only through the final triumph of Christus Victor, the crucified risen Christ.

Three final ‘If’ statements, with disciplined grace, and obedient faithfulness providing the tension points:
I am the vine, you are the branches…if you remain in me and I in you, you will
bear much fruit….
You are my friends If you do what I command you….
by this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another……

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