Today’s Scripture: Luke 4:1-13
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”
Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “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. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”
Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
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! For the Scriptures say,
‘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.’”
Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
As humans we know what temptation is. We understand that feeling of being drawn to do something we know, deep down, is either very wrong or very bad for us. And yet we want it anyway. Temptation is powerful. VERY powerful. Some of us don’t recognize the power that it has.
I’m not sure exactly why Jesus was tempted the way he was in this passage. But my gut tells me that it was so he could fully understand what it is like to be human. And temptation is a big part of being human. Maybe this passage also serves to remind US of the power of temptation in our own life.
Also, I think we learn that evil (Satan, the devil, whatever name you want to use) knows all about temptation. If you really want to get at a human – throw some temptation in front of them. They rarely pass it up. (Or maybe I’m just speaking about myself? – Nope, didn’t think so.)
But this passage shows us that not only does Jesus know what it feels like to face temptation. He also knows how to combat it. Notice that Jesus has a response ready for each temptation – and it all involves reminding the devil (and himself?) of the bigger picture.
That’s how to fight temptation – to remember the bigger picture. Falling for temptation might seem like a win in the short term – and often it is. But there are bigger issues at play. If we can remind ourselves of those – if we can remind ourselves of the long-term vs. the short-term – then maybe we have a chance against temptation. Notice also that Jesus uses scripture to fight temptation – another reason to immerse ourselves in God’s Word.
What is tempting you today? How can you set that temptation aside and focus on the bigger issues – issues of love, justice, and relationship?
God thank you that Jesus knows all about our temptations. This week help us to first identify our temptations – but also help us to see the big picture. Help us to focus on the things that are bigger than what we want in the moment.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Monday: Pages 1-12 (Luke 1 – 4:13)
Tuesday: Pages 13-27 (Luke 4:14-9:50)
Wednesday: Pages 28-37 (Luke 9:51-13:20)
Thursday: Pages 37-47 (Luke 13:21-19:27)
Friday: Pages 47-59 (Luke 19:28-24:53)