Luke 4:1–13

Read the passage.

After being baptized by John at the Jordan River, Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness to fast and be tempted by the devil. This is an important event in redemptive history, because Jesus needed to remain a sinless sacrifice in order to justify sinners, but if He did not experience the temptation to sin He would not be the “high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb 4:15).

The specific temptations that Jesus endured in this passage are also important. In each case, Satan is offering Jesus something He already deserves, or has a right to. The sinfulness of these temptations isn’t the offered things in themselves, but in the timing, the method of aquiring them, and the motives of Jesus’s heart if He accepted them.

Jesus had the power and authority to change stones into bread. But it was time for Him to fast on this day, and until His death it was not time for Him to exercise His divine rights as Creator. All of His glory was set aside for the moment.

Jesus has authority over all the nations and will one day receive their glory and worship. At that time, Satan even had the right to offer them because humanity came under his control when Adam sinned, but he did not deserve Jesus’s worship at all.

Satan accurately quoted Scripture when tempting Jesus to jump off the roof of the temple, but he twists the intent of the passages. In Matthew’s account, there are indeed angels that come to serve and aid Jesus after these temptations are over. Yet that’s not a reason to take them for granted and behave foolishly.

In each case, Jesus quoted Scripture (each time from Deuteronomy) to rebuke the devil, bringing God’s truth to mind and remembering that what He wanted in his flesh was less important than being obedient.

Help us remember the truth You have given to us when we are tempted so that we may act rightly.

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