Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Matthew 6:1-2)
It might seem incredible that people in Jesus’ ministry were practicing charitable deeds who were motivated to do so because they wanted to be acknowledged by others. But it might not seem all that incredible when we think about how the motives behind this is the human nature, pride.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name. (Philippians 2:9)
Jesus Christ’s life provides the perfect example of humility. Though He was and is an eternal deity, Jesus humbled Himself to become a servant of all, taking the form of man and became obedient to the point of death. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name above all names. This is exactly what God did with Jesus at the completion of His work in accordance to Jesus’ prayer. In His prayer, Jesus asked the Father to restore to Him the glory that He had with the Father from the beginning (John 17:4-5).
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8)
Jesus was in the image of God, yet He did not boast about His equality with God. Instead, Jesus humbled Himself to become a servant of all, taking the form of man. From birth to death, Jesus Christ exhibited His humility and obedience. Jesus was born in a manger, a lowly place, to demonstrate that He came as a servant to save the humble and needy. On the cross, Jesus exemplified total surrender to the will of God.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:13-18)
This passage tells us that not all prayers are the same. Some are more powerful than the others because of the person who is praying. It means that God doesn’t only listen to the words of the prayer, but He also looks at the person who is praying. If the person is righteous before God, his prayer can be just as powerful and effective as that of Elijah who prayed for famine and there was famine, prayed for rain and there was rain. So then the key is the righteousness of the person. But in our Christian living, we may find it hard to do what is right in the eyes of God all the time. We may not commit the mortal sins, but we may daily commit sins that we think are less serious. We unconsciously give the word of God different weights or degree of importance. But in reality, all of God’s word is important and need to be practiced for us to be righteous.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)
The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where He was being tempted for forty days by the devil (Lk 4:1-2). However, Jesus triumphed over Satan during those temptations. Why must Jesus go through temptations? Temptation is part of the human experience. For Jesus to understand us completely, He had to go through the suffering of temptation so that He may sympathize with our weaknesses and become our merciful High Priest. The devil’s temptations to Jesus focused on three areas: physical desire, greed, and pride – the same categories of temptations we face in our own lives.