22 July 2013
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Luke 4:1-13
New Living Translation (NLT)
*The Temptation of Jesus*
*4 *Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan
River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,*[**a*
*]* *2 *where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate
nothing all that time and became very hungry.
*3 *Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell
this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
*4 *But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not
live by bread alone.’*[**b*
*5 *Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of
the world in a moment of time. *6 *“I will give you the glory of
these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because
they are mine to give to anyone I please. *7 *I will give it all to
you if you will worship me.”
*8 *Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’*[**c*
*9 *Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the
Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! *10 *For the
‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’*[**d*
*12 *Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test
the Lordyour God.’*[**e*
*13 *When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the
next opportunity came.
Many of us are familiar with this passage. It is often quoted to make
the point that “Jesus was tempted just as we are”. I must be
honest, I really struggled with that. When last have you been overcome
with the temptation to turn rocks into bread? Or to bow down to Satan?
Or jump off the roof of a temple. For years I couldn’t see the link
to our own temptation.
But there is. We do actually struggle with the same things.
We are tempted to use our own abilities to turn the “rocks” the
world offers (promotions, good grades, climbing the corporate ladder)
into bread – that which is most important to us. We are tempted to be
sustained by the things the world has to offer, rather than things God
has to offer. And while we may not physically bow down to Satan, we
are also tempted to make the things that he has dominion over, our
Gods. There are only two powers in the spiritual realm: God and Satan.
If you’re not worshipping God, you’re worshipping Satan. And,
finally, we are tempted to do stupid things (like being sexually
promiscuous, indulging in too much alcohol, ruining our bodies with
substances) in the hopes that God will remove the natural consequences
(pregnancy, alcoholism, weight problems and early death).
The emphasis on this passage is almost always the same: Jesus /knew/
scripture, and used scripture to fight off the temptation.
A CALL TO ACTION
Likewise, we are to know what the Bible says about the things that
tempt us. Are you tempted to find your identity in climbing the
corporate ladder? Find out what Scripture says about your identity in
Christ. Are you tempted to put something else first? Find out what
scripture says about worshipping God alone. Are you tempted to do
stupid things? Find out what Scripture says about sin. If you are
correctly armed, you can win!
A PRAYER TO PRAY
Lord thank you that you are faithful and have given me promises and
instructions in your Word so that I can live a better life. Please
help me to be active in fighting the temptation I face, and to know
Your Word concerning my temptation. Amen
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