This Day in History: 0000-03-14

March 14 – 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 at a moment in 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. 

There are so many lessons to glean from the tempting of Jesus. So let’s go through a few of them in the order they appear in the text: 

  1. When Jesus was tempted, the Bible says He was “full of the Holy Spirit.”  

We have the very same power Jesus had within us. He was able to resist the temptation of Satan because He was full of the Holy Spirit, and we, too have been filled with the Holy Spirit. May we always remember this power in the face of our trials and temptations. We have been equipped by our Lord to gain the victory, so let’s tap into it in the same way Jesus did! 

2. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil… 

Being tempted to sin is not a sign of weakness or a lack of closeness to God. I am so often prone to believe it is, but Jesus was neither weak, nor far away from God, and yet He was tempted. May we not forget this important truth! He was FULL of the Holy Spirit and in that state, led into a situation in which the devil would tempt Him. Temptation Is. Not. Sin. 

3. While He was facing this time of temptation, Jesus ate nothing.  

There is spiritual power in fasting. It is a tool we rarely utilize these days, but Jesus knew its value. If you are facing a season of great tempting, perhaps the discipline of Biblical fasting will help you find victory. The power is not in the ritual, though, so be careful. Rather, it is in the state of a heart so wholly focused on God, it is undivided by the need to meet the physical cravings of hunger, and instead concerned with being filled spiritually by the Bread of Life. 

4. Satan knows the Word of God pretty well, but He will twist it in order to deceive and tempt us. 

It is SO important to learn to recognize the voice of God. The Bible says that His sheep know His voice, but we can only hear it (which is how we learn it) if we are listening to it. In other words, we need to be familiarizing ourselves with the Word of God. Our enemy knows it. We better be sure we know it better! 

5. Jesus used Scripture to combat temptation. 

How do we keep from being deceived when the enemy attempts to use the Word of God against us? With the Word of God! Notice I did not say with the commentary of four or five trusted Bible scholars. I did not say with the wise counsel of a mature believer. Jesus used SCRIPTURE to interpret Scripture. When Satan twisted the meaning of a passage, tempting Jesus to misinterpret its meaning, Jesus fought back with other Scripture. May we follow His perfect example! 

Friends, there is no better example than that of Jesus Himself! May we take the lessons He offers and apply them with wisdom to our own lives so that we can live victoriously, as He did!