SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:1-13
1. “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit” – After His baptism, Jesus was energized by God, ready to begin His mission. This was a high and holy moment, He was enthused (‘enthusiasm’ means to be filled with God) and eager. This makes sense after His dramatic affirmation at the baptism.
2. “Returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil” – Notice that it is God Who drives Him into the desert, right after His dramatic affirmation. Being loved by God does not protect us from suffering, but directs suffering toward His purpose.
3. “If you are the Son of God” – Satan targets Jesus right where He is at that moment, delighting in God’s affirmation, “This is My Son!”. Oh yeah, says the devil, then whey has He got You out here starving to death? If He really loved You, would He let You suffer like this? Have we ever heard this?
4. “Stone to become bread… all the kingdoms of the world… the highest point of the temple” – The temptations speak to normal human weaknesses – our normal human desires (like hunger), our desire to avoid suffering (a shortcut to getting the kingdoms that God promised, without the cross), and our desire to make a big show of ourselves for peoples’ applause (to jump from the temple, EVERYONE would believe in Him then!). Satan custom designs all of his temptations to the person he is tempting. How is he tempting me?
5. “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” – Jesus passed this test, but the battle continued. Satan and his demons are always on the prowl, waiting for the right moment to pounce. Our daily circumstances often give him good opportunities, i.e. when we’re tired, overworked, having a down day, after hearing bad news, in pain, etc. These (and many more) are examples of opportune times for the devil. Often when we’re least expecting it…
Lord, remind me that I am Your child, and that You love me. Remind me especially when I am struggling to believe it, when I am tempted to question Your love. Amen.