Jesus was Tempted – Luke 4:2-4
Opening Thoughts: First of all I want to acknowledge brother David Wilkerson who passed away yesterday April 27, 2011 in a car accident. David Wilkerson has been one of those people that I take very serious. Both my wife Danae and I have expressed on many occasions that this is a man that scares us when he preaches, and when we say scares us we mean it seams as though you are sitting listening to one of the prophets from the Bible. He preached with such conviction it could make a drunk snap out of a drunken stupor. I loved to listen to him, and God through his preaching has impacted my life in a very big way! David Wilkerson will not be a name forgotten around our home.
I was reading today in Luke 4:2-4 I’m working my way through Luke’s gospel right now and it’s words are so powerful. I will try and stay focused and on topic …. listen to these words.
Luke 4:2-4 2. for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4. And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
Jesus is Filled with the Holy Spirit: Before I get into Jesus response to Satan, I want to look at the situation and the temptation itself. At the end of Chapter 3 we see that Jesus is just baptized in water and immediately after he comes out of the water he is filled with the Holy Spirit (this is another session altogether:) In chapter 4 verse 1 it says that Jesus being filled with the Spirit was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Jesus was in the wilderness preparing for His ministry just as John the Baptist had spent time in the wilderness preparing for his ministry. The crazy thing is that it was the Holy Spirit that led Him into the wilderness to be tempted, this testing and tempting was to show us the power that the Holy Spirit brings to any true believer. Power over sin, power over temptation, power over Satan himself.
Jesus is Tempted 40 Days: it says in verse 2 that Jesus was tempted for 40 days. That is a long time to be tempted, Luke indicates that there was constant temptation whether it was Satan just being there not saying anything but constantly subliminally tempting Jesus with thoughts and trying to derail Him from the task at hand. It’s really unclear what the temptation was during those days other than we know that for 40 days He was being tempted. This not only shows us the power of the Holy Spirit at work, but also the unbelievable persistence of the devil.
Jesus is Weak: So we read that after the 40 days of fasting all the while being tempted, that “Jesus was hungry” I’m not sure how many of you reading this post have fasted 40 days, but I’m pretty sure this text is very accurate when it says Jesus was hungry. I’ll bet He was famished, He was weak, He was ready to eat for sure. The only problem was that He was still out in the wilderness, so what does Satan do at this point? He starts talking. Satan is kind of like a vulture, he sits there and waits, watches, flies around, paces the ground and then when you are almost dead he starts to peck, and that’s exactly what he did here.
The Temptation: So we see that Jesus is hungry and hungry people need food, so Satan says “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” When I was reading this it struck me for the first time, that if Satan had not been there and Jesus was alone in the wilderness and He was weak and hungry, after His fast He could have turned all the stones into bread, steak, vegetables, wine, whatever He wanted. See turning a stone into bread wasn’t a sin, so Satan was tempting Jesus to do something that wasn’t sin, crazy! However, because Satan suggested it, the very act would become sin. Jesus was being tempted to do something that He was capable of doing, but if He had given into that temptation of the devil he would have been a slave to sin.
The response to temptation reveals what is in our hearts. James 1:14 “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” so temptation only reveals what is really in our hearts, if God’s desires have replaced my own desires then I cannot be lured away. We read in Psalm 37:4-5 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” The delight of the Lord should be the heart and soul of every believer, if you truly understand what the cross means for you, you will delight in Him. Then it says that “He will give you the desires of your heart”, So in every true believer dwells the Holy Spirit of God and if He has replaced your heart of stone with one of flesh and has now given you His desires there should be no way that you are lured away by your own evil desire!
Jesus Responds: The response Jesus makes to Satan’s temptation is amazing, He fights temptation with Scripture. He says “It is Written” Now I’m not sure about you, but when I read that I got so excited, because for the last year and half I’ve been pouring over the scriptures and studying them like they are my water and food. When I read stuff like Psalm 119:11 “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I realize that this is indeed the secret weapon of sanctification, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit helps you understand the Word of God as John puts it in John 16:13. The greatest weapon on fighting temptation is knowing the Scriptures and using them as a weapon against the enemy. So many professing Christians don’t even read there Bibles at all other then on Sunday, never mind on a daily basis, how can you say “It is Written” if you know very little about what is written? The truth is, You Can’t!
Final Thoughts: First off, If you are a believer and you have not been baptized, you need to be, it’s an obedient act which Jesus showed us needs to be practiced. It’s the outward expression of inward repentance. Secondly, you need to ask God to Fill you with His Spirit so that you are able to boldly carry out the task that He has for you. Thirdly, you need to be in the Word of God. A person that isn’t reading and studying God’s Word, is a gun without bullets, all they can do is threaten the devil with big words and fancy prayers, but when they pull the trigger, nothing comes out! I hope that this post has either encouraged you to get into God’s word, or if you are already to stay in it. Remember, temptation is defeated through God’s word. “IT IS WRITTEN”
Preparing The Way