Luke 4:1

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.
Luke 4:1
There are no nice words that describe the devil. None. In the Bible he is portrayed as: a roaring lion, the deceiver of the world, a power of darkness, cursed from the beginning, the prince of power of the air, the leader of disobedience, and our adversary. John 10:10 states that the devil comes to ‘steal, kill and destroy’. No one would ever choose to hang out with him for forty days. No one, but Jesus.
 
Full of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. We notice that Jesus doesn’t enter into conflict with the devil by some mistake or accidental meeting, but rather He was prompted by the Holy Spirit. For Jesus to demonstrate His deity, it was necessary for Him to overpower darkness and the power of sin as He walked the earth. If Jesus had fallen into any temptation, His claim to be God would be discredited.
 
The first temptation is a temptation to distrust God’s love. By suggesting that Jesus turn stones into bread, the devil is suggesting God will not provide ‘daily bread’. No stranger to this temptation, we worry about many things and trust in our own abilities to provide our needs, rather than God. Satan also implies that if God loved Jesus, really loved Him, Jesus wouldn’t even be experiencing hunger.  Our thinking can be the same; ‘if God loved me He would…..’ Jesus avoids this slippery slope by refusing this invitation to distrust God. (Deut. 8:3) Sin always offers what only God can supply.
 
Moving to his next opportunity, Satan tempts Jesus by offering dominion over the earth, as far as his eyes can see. Interestingly, Satan always offers what he does not own and cannot give. Jesus the author of the scriptures, replies again from the Old Testament, ‘worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’. (Deut. 6:13) We notice that Jesus makes no deals with the enemy. Satan has always desired to be worshipped and for this he was removed from heaven. We are worshipers too, and no strangers to misplacing our worship.
 
Moving to the highest point at the temple for the third temptation, Satan challenges Jesus to put God to a test. Quoting again from the Old Testament, Jesus replies to yet another lie with, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ (Deut. 6:16) Presuming on God, giving God orders, or expecting what was never promised, is sin. Some of our presumptive lies include: If I attend church and read the Bible I will be blessed and saved from hardships. Or, If I am a Christian, my children will turn out well, or my finances will always be more than sufficient. There are many more.
 
When facing temptation, these three truths can be helpful to walk away.
     Sin always offers what only God can supply.
     Satan always offers what he does not own and cannot give.                      
     Presuming on God, giving God orders, and expecting what was never promised, is sin.
 
Jesus was tempted and did not sin. He consistently brought to mind and spoke the scriptures to move away from the enticement and lies of sin. And because of grace, we can do the same.
Linda Miller | Ministry Development

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