The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Eppy Izere. She has been a member of St Marys for over 10 years now.

Luke 4:1-13

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'"

5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours."

8 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

"'He will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"
12 Jesus answered, "It is said: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Reflection

Reflection:
 
We all have been tempted in one-way or another and if like me, mostly fallen short of the glory.
As followers of Jesus, how can we overcome the temptations? 
 
In the above passage, Jesus overcame the three temptations using two important weapons: 
The Holy Spirit 
The Scriptures
 
 The enemy tested Jesus at a vulnerable time when Jesus was hungry and probably physically weak given that he had not eaten anything for 40 days. However, Jesus overcame the enemy by using a 'sword of the spirit' for his defence (Eph.6: 17). Because Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit (V.1), the spirit empowered him to resist the temptation.

We also see in v.4 Jesus disarming the enemy by quoting Deut.8: 3 .The scriptures made the devil know that life is much worth than food and that God will provide for our daily bread just like he provided for the children of Israel in the days of the wilderness.

I hope we can learn to respond like Jesus and use the scriptures so that every time we are faced with desperate situations, instead of falling for Satan’s quick fix suggestions, we hang on to God’s word because Jehovah Jireh, God is our provider!
 
In the passage, twice (V.3, 9) the devil begins his temptation by challenging Jesus' identity as the Son of God. The tempter asked Jesus to prove this identity with some miracles such as turning stones into bread or throwing himself from the highest points of the temple for angelic rescue from death.

 Jesus never gave in into the devils tricks in order to gain fame, power or glory from the enemy. His responses were instead rooted in an underlying narrative that he is dependent on God rather than self, for protection, glory and identity.
 
In the end, Jesus triumphs over the enemy because he was well prepared and equipped (in prayer and fasting) way before the temptations happened. As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate Jesus' example of prayer, fasting and reading the word so we are better equipped to overcome the challenges of this world.

Prayer: Dear Lord, teach us how to seek you more and to faithfully trust and obey you at all times. Lord, active your word in our hearts by the power of your spirit so that we can resist the devil's temptations and live victorious lives. Amen
 

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