7607 - Temptation

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It can often be a comfort to remember that even Jesus fought against temptation.

Today we want to get an overview of the temptations of Jesus as recorded in Luke 4, verses 1-13:

Jesus had been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, then was led by the Spirit into the desert, where, for forty days, he was tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. It is important for us to comprehend that Jesus was fully human, and that he faced these temptations there in the wilderness using the same spiritual weapons we are encouraged to use when we are tempted.

What we are saying is that Jesus used none of his heavenly divine powers in confronting the devil during these temptations.

We are told in Acts 10:38 that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

So Jesus trusted explicitly in the Father for power and protection, and enjoyed the presence of the Holy Spirit in carrying on life day-by-day while here on earth.

This is an important principle because Jesus demonstrated to every Christian from that point forward how to victoriously endure the cunning and deception of the evil one – the devil. In John 17 is recorded what some call Jesus’ farewell prayer. In verse 18 Jesus speaks with the Father these words, “As you sent me into the world, so have I sent all who will believe in me into the world.”

It was important that Jesus laid aside the use of his divine powers when he came to earth (Phil. 2:7). Only in this way could he personally demonstrate to the believers to come after him, just how to engage in spiritual warfare. Even though He was divine and the Son of God, He limited Himself to the use of only those tools and resources available to you and to me –– namely the reliance upon the Holy Spirit and dependence upon the power imparted by God to every one of his trusting children.

Truly, Jesus was required to rely upon these resources; and we must follow his example. You see, the resources and tools may be available and some of us may neglect to use the divine resources afforded by God.

In 1 Peter 5:7-9 is the battle plan. We are to lay upon our infinite, all-powerful God our anxieties; then to be alert and sober minded, aware that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. But we are told to resist him, standing firm in the faith.

In James 4, verse 7 similar words tell us to first submit to God; then to resist the devil, and he will flee from us.

Luke 4 tells us Jesus was tempted for forty days; but then we get a close up view of three different temptations with which the devil enticed Jesus. Each time the devil was turned away by the use of Scripture as Jesus quoted the Word.

This is a preview of God’s provision in Ephesians, chapter 6, where Christians are told to continually be dressed in the armor of God so that we may stand against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual hierarchy of evil. This armor includes the belt of truth– and the Word of God is the essence of truth. The Sword of the Spirit is also included and that’s identified as the Word of God. Other pieces of the armor relate to an obedient life of faith.

Let us follow the example of Jesus and the exhortations of Scripture and be prepared and alert. We are in a battle. Let us not be ambushed by the enemy.

We’ll examine these temptations which were rebuffed with Scripture by Jesus in our next studies together.