At the very outset of His ministry, such was the suggestion of the devil. It runs like some dark thread of hell through all the encounters of the wilderness.
Let Him with all His brilliant gifts ally Himself with worldly policies and what need would there be of the bloody way of Calvary?
It smote Him again after many days and this time through the lips of Simon Peter.
Was not our Lord recalling the scene out in the wilderness when He said, "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Mat 16:23)?
And near the end when the Greeks came craving an interview with Christ, was that not the old temptation back again?
Why, in that thrilling hour, did our Lord say "Now is my soul troubled" (Joh 12:27)?
Why did He not rejoice in spirit when the "other sheep" were coming to His feet? Surely it was because these Greeks were envoys offering an open door to the big world without the imminent agonies of Calvary.
It is notable that in the Gospel of St. John there is no mention whatever of Gethsemane.
To St. John that offer of the Grecian world was the spiritual equivalent of Gethsemane.
It was the temptation to achieve the kingship on which His kingly heart was set by some way other than the cross.
He was tempted to avoid the cross, to shun it, to take some other road.
Have we not all been tempted just like that?
And does it not bring the Master very near us in a brotherhood intensely real to remember that He was victorious just there?
~George H. Morrison~