THURSDAY, APRIL 18
SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:1-13
BY: Jeremy Witt
One of the many reasons that Jesus came as a human being was so that we would have a Savior whom we could relate to, or to say it in a different way is for us to have One who has gone through circumstances similar to us. If we think about it, we find commonality with someone who has gone through something we have. It helps us build a connection or relationship. When we are going through a difficult circumstance, it helps us to have someone else who has experienced something similar to us. We find Jesus in a situation that we can all relate to in chapter 4. Why was Jesus tempted? The answer has many layers to it, more than what I can adequately put into words. One is for us to know that we can relate. Another reason was for Jesus to fix the sin problem from Adam. Jesus had to endure temptation just as Adam was tempted, but Jesus resisted the urge to give in to the temptation. He had to fix what was broken, and it began with the test of temptation. By doing this, Jesus was setting the stage to right the original wrong from sin to enable the descendants of Adam the opportunity to be saved.
Let me also point out how some people today claim that we have enough faith that we will not have difficulty. Some of these folks claim that if we do things God’s way that we will be blessed and not go through difficult times. They claim that if we are faithful, we will always be beside “peaceful streams” (Psalm 23:2). Yet time and time again throughout Scripture, we see that this idea or belief is just plain wrong. Jesus had faith and was fully obedient to God and yet experienced difficulty. Jesus faced temptation. Just like we experience temptations ourselves, we have a Savior who knows temptation and yet overcame.
This is a quote from my study Bible regarding Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. “Sometimes we feel that if the Holy Spirit leads us, it will always be beside ‘still waters’ (Psalm 23:2) But that is not necessarily true. He leads Jesus into the wilderness for a long and difficult time of testing, and He may also lead us into difficult situations. When facing trials, first make sure that you haven’t brought them on yourself through sin or unwise choices. If you find no sin to confess or unwise behaviors to change, then ask God to strengthen you for your test. Finally, be careful to follow faithfully wherever the Holy Spirit leads.” – LIFE APPLICATION STUDY BIBLE, page 1684.
Notice verse 3, the devil makes a statement. “If you are the Son of God . . .” He certainly knew that Jesus was the Son of God! He knew Jesus personally. However, this is one of Satan’s tricks. He gets us to question God. Our world has certainly taken this temptation to heart today. It is also the trick used to get Eve in the Garden. Did God really say . . . .?
Also, notice that some of the temptations that Satan attempted were not sinful or unlawful in and of themselves. Notice in verse 3 the turning stone into bread. There was nothing wrong in this all by itself. The sin was BEHIND the temptation. It was a short-cut to Jesus’ purpose all along. The temptation may be to do the right action but to do it at the wrong time. It may the right action for the wrong purposes. “The fact that something is not wrong in itself does not mean that it is good for you at the given time. Many people sin by attempting to fulfill legitimate desires outside of God’s will or ahead of His timetable.”
As you read this portion of Scripture, you will see that Jesus quoted Scripture to defeat Satan. You will also notice that even Satan quotes Scripture to Jesus in verses 10-11. Well-meaning people may also do this to tempt other believers to choose to do things their way rather than the will of God. If Satan will quote Scripture to mislead Jesus, other people will certainly do the same thing to others.
We must be people who are in the Word, but also must understand that we need to rely on the Spirit to lead us and not to be misled. May we pray for guidance and discernment to know and recognize the best ways over good ways and to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in our lives to know what the LORD desires.