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The Sweeter Song of Jesus

In Greek mythology, ancient sailors faced many dangers at sea. One of the most unusual was that of the sirens who used their mesmerizing songs to lure sailors to their deaths on the rocky shore. Two famous Greeks were able to sail by them successfully.

One was Odysseus, who stopped up the ears of his men with wax and then had his men tie him to the ship’s mast. This way his men were safe, and he was able to hear the siren’s sweet song with relatively little harm.

The other was the legendary Orpheus who was sailing with Jason and the Argonauts. As they approached the sirens and began to hear the siren’s voices drift across the water, Orpheus took out his lyre and began to sing an even more charming melody to the men.

Orpheus, not Odysseus, represents the success we want. We can pass some tests by restricting our bodies (be tied to a mast) or limiting our access to temptation (fill our ears with wax). But in the end, the holy desires of our heart must rise and conquer. The desire to love and follow Jesus must be a sweeter song to us than the music of the world and our flesh.


A. Craig Troxel, With All Your Heart: Orienting Your Mind, Desires, and Will Toward Christ, (Crossway, 2020), p. 101

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