No Other Name // Part 3
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread. But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
/// LUKE 4:1-13 (NKJV)
This week, we will continue our look at the life of Jesus as seen in Luke 4. After Jesus’ baptism by John, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert for a showdown with the devil. For 40 days, we are told Jesus was under temptation by the devil. The biblical meaning of the number 40 is a time of trial, and that’s certainly what happened to Jesus during these days. Jesus endured the trifecta of a perfect storm:
Many of our trials include one or a couple of these realities but Jesus’ trial included them all. It’s easy to imagine the testing of difficult circumstances and the trial of enduring this period alone. Those trials are difficult in and of themselves. But, add to that demonic oppression! Let’s take a look at the essence of the three demonic challenges that Jesus encountered:
1. If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread. /// Luke 4:3
Jesus had been fasting during the 40 days in the wilderness. Maybe that was because He called a fast or maybe that was because there was nothing available to eat. In that part of Israel, there is nothing there. There are few towns in this area today much less in that day. You don’t ever have to wonder if Jesus knows what it is like to have little available. Jesus was hungry and apparently had nothing with him to eat. The devil said to Him, “IF you are the Son of God”. You ever had the devil challenge you in a situation of lack? Where is your God? If you are His child, why are you suffering or doing without? The devil gave Jesus a simple solution: Use your influence, authority, and power to take care of yourself. This is a very common temptation.
Why do many of us serve God? Is it for the blessings or for Him? We need provision but what is motivating us? Are we willing to step outside of God’s directed way to provision and accept an alternative that is quicker and more understandable? Are we willing to forfeit faith for convenience and comfort? The answers to these questions serve as the essence of trust in God for provision. How do you answer them? Jesus’ answer:
“It is written” The word of God is my guide for provision.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” God is the author of every plan and direction for my life. I don’t take direction from the devil or the flesh. I would rather wait on God and hurt then to disobey, get a need met and forfeit my grace.
2. “All this authority I will give You, and the glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” /// Luke 4:6-7
This statement was made after the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. This is not an empty offer. The devil could give him these things. It would not have been a real temptation if he could not. Why did the devil have this authority in the first place? Because he had stolen it from man in the Garden. How do we obtain our purpose? What is the real definition of success? The answer to these questions serve as the essence of all achievement, significance, and purpose. How do you answer them? Jesus had a calling as a king. A purpose to save people. Wouldn’t the devil’s offer bring that purpose to fruition? Jesus’ answer:
“Get behind Me, Satan!” You are not leading this parade – God is!
“It is written” Again, the word determines my pathway to my purpose.
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” The place you are asking for in my life is reserved for, dedicated to, and owned by only One! Why should I give it to a lesser power and being? After all, He is your god as well – whether you recognize it or not!
3. If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here /// Luke 4:9
This temptation occurred at the pinnacle of the Temple – the highest point in Jerusalem. Did they transport? Remember – to be a temptation, the process must be real! In this temptation, Satan uses scripture to shore up his point. You are protected as God’s child. Therefore, handle your problems, desires, and temptations as you see fit because God will cover you. Is salvation in Jesus heavenly insurance against fleshly options and foolish decisions? Are we guaranteed protection when walking out from under His lordship? Can we claim God’s promises in disobedience? Can we claim them when not acting in faith or trust in God? Is free will exempt from the fulfillment of God’s promises? Does God understand when we decide to go a different path than His? These questions serve as the essence of whether God is in control or not. Jesus’ answer:
“It has been said” Again, the word is final authority.
“You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” There is no spiritual insurance against actions that occur when acting outside of God’s direction.
One final note: If you go to Israel, you realize that Jesus was baptized by John at the same place the children of Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land. How symbolic! The period of time the children spent in the wilderness was a disaster! They were confronted over and over by these same temptations and more often than not, made the wrong decision. But, Jesus in His time of trial defeated the devil and provided a pathway for you to do the same!
For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. /// 1 John 2:16-17 NIV
- Luke 4:1-13 (NKJV)
- 1 John 2:16-17 (NIV)
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