- Living Hope
- Great Is Thy Faithfulness
- Passing the Test - Luke 4:1-13In today’s message, we’re continuing our sermon series through the Gospel of Luke.As we prepare to read the text… There is a really interesting and important tension in the text that I want you to notice even before and as we read it:“Temptation is, on the one hand, a solicitation to sin, to do that which is contrary to the will and the word of God. Temptation is an attempt to cause a person to sin. Satan’s efforts at temptation always fall into this category. But “temptation” when viewed from God’s point of view is a “test,” an opportunity for one to be proven righteous.” (Deffinbaugh)And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ” And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.PRAY: Lord, we thank you today that your word is powerful and practical. Thank you that in the Bible we find the means to be made right with you through faith in Jesus. We thank you that in it we learn who you are and how we can draw closer to you. Thank you that in your word you gives us both principles and practical help that we need to follow Jesus and to make his mission our mission. We do indeed love you, but we give you credit for it because you first loved us. Guide us in our study we pray, and guard our hearts and minds from distraction in this different format. Amen.First things first. What is the point of this passage? How should we understand vv. 1-13 together and in context?The Point of the Passage (vv. 1-13)What does Luke, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, want us to know and remember? (What should we learn about Jesus? What can we apply from how Jesus responds to these temptations?)Unlike Adam & Israel, Jesus doesn’t fail the test.We saw in the prior section, in Jesus’ genealogy, that Luke drew a parallel to Adam.What we are to see now then is this: “Jesus comes for all people as the second (but successful) Adam.” (Bock, 276) - All temptations are connected to whether he is fully dependent and trusting of the Father. Is he the faithful Son of God?The answer is yes! “Jesus is qualified to minister God’s salvation. He obeys God and resists self and Satan.” (Bock, 276)The parallel to Israel we see in the concept of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness in connection with the 40 years in the wilderness that the Israelites experienced where God tested them. We are convinced of Jesus making this intentional connection because his quotes from the OT in responding to Satan’s temptations come from that very context. - But as is the case with the Adam parallel, what is the primary (and intentionally demonstrated) difference? While Israel was tested by God in the wilderness, they also tested God, demanding to be fed. Jesus instead will reply to Satan that “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (v. 12). - “Our Lord is the antitype of Israel, fulfilling the will of God where Israel failed.” (Deffinbaugh)Again, here’s the point:“Jesus as the “second Adam” [is tempted by] Satan and prevail[s]. Jesus as the “true Israel” [is tested] in the wilderness and return[s] victorious. Thus the Son of God, Israel’s King, will be shown to be fit to fulfill His divinely ordained task, qualified by the declaration of God and the descent of the Holy Spirit [at his baptism], and [here] by His proven holiness.” (Deffinbaugh)“Jesus is qualified to represent both the nation and humanity.” (Bock, 368)[repeat “unlike Adam & Israel...”]- Jesus doesn’t sin. Jesus trusts the Father, believing what He has said.It is this part about trusting the Father, believing what he has said that provides us with a secondary lesson here:“Jesus’ victory over Satan shows Him to be the righteous Son of God and shows us how to overcome temptation.” (Steve Cole - emphasis mine)To pass the tests of our faith, we can follow Jesus’ example to resist temptation.Jesus knew that his purpose was to obey the Father’s will, and that said way is indeed better (no matter how things may appear or what trials we go through to get there). Essentially, Jesus continued trusting the Father. What God has said can and should be trusted and obeyed.Just from the very outset we can see then a couple of really important keys to resisting temptation: “(In Jesus’ successful resistance we see) those very means which God has made available to us to withstand Satan’s attacks.” (Deffinbaugh)Relational nearness to God.Familiarity with the principles from God’s word that speak to the temptations we face.“Luke uses the incident both to confirm Jesus as the righteous Son of God at the outset of His public ministry and to teach us how to follow Him in obedience to the Father.” (Cole - emphasis mine)To get into a bit more of the detail in the verses, let’s look closely at the setting for the temptations:40 Days in the Wilderness (vv. 1-2)Jesus was “full of the Spirit” and “led by the Spirit in the wilderness.” What that means is that it is part of God’s plan to prove Jesus’ preparedness for the ministry he came to accomplish. It is important to demonstrate the righteousness of the unique Son of God.Secondly then, although he is being tempted by the devil, it is also a testing providentially allowed by the Father. - “While Satan sought to undermine our Lord’s mission, God sought to underline it by having the Son of God emerge sinless as the second and last Adam.” (Bob Deffinbaugh - emphasis mine)This also matters because Jesus is indeed hungry, but His hunger is self-imposed… Spirit-led (he was fasting these forty days, Matt. 4:2). That means he knows that following the Father’s plan is a path of sacrifice and suffering, of giving up self for the good of others to the glory of the Triune God.What the text also seems to indicate here is that Satan had been tempting him over these forty days of fasting, and these three recorded temptations are Satan’s last best effort at the end of these forty days… until some other opportune time (v. 13)- So these tests are representative of the temptations Jesus faced, or at least the culmination of them. “These are not the only temptations which occurred during that 40 day testing period, but they are the three which both Matthew (4:1-11) and Luke (4:1-13) record, and to which Mark (1:12-13) alludes.” (Deffinbaugh) - Might they also represent temptations that are common to man (things we frequently face)? Perhaps this is so, if we look at it a certain way.Misapplication vs right application of a text like this concerning our Lord and how we might apply it to our own lives… Or How Jesus temptations are unique to Jesus and in some ways similar to our own:“It must be remembered that our Lord’s temptation was a unique event in history. It was Satan’s attempt to nullify the purpose of Christ’s first coming, to prevent the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth, where God’s will would be done, even as it is done in heaven. It was also the temptation of our Lord as God. The temptations of our Lord were those which could be pressed on one who was divine.[Secondly,] our Lord’s temptation was unique in that He, unlike all of us, provided Satan with no “inner ally,” no “fallen flesh” to which Satan could appeal. There was no inner inclination to rebel against God and no inner desire to sin.[Finally,] Satan’s temptation was direct and obvious. It was evident that Satan was the source of the temptation. Our temptations are more indirect, coming most often through the world and the flesh.(Bob Deffinbaugh)But we will also see both this week and next, that although the specifics are unique to Jesus, the category of temptation is something that we face as well.For example, let’s consider Satan’s first temptation of Jesus in vv. 3&4. Here’s how I have chosen to word a title for this temptation which hints at how we too face this issue.Temptation One (vv. 3-4): Circumvent God’s Plan and Provision by Your Own Power to Meet Your Need
Since Jesus was extremely hungry and in need of food (v. 2), it is not surprising that the devil first tempted Jesus to turn a stone into bread for His sustenance.Although Satan clearly knows that Jesus is the unique Son of God, he ever so subtly calls on Jesus to prove it by using his unique power. So Satan’s temptation is for Jesus to use his own ability to satisfy his hunger craving, rather than trusting God to be faithful in this wilderness test. If Jesus did so, he would be taking the way to accomplish the Father’s will into his own hands.Instead, Luke records Jesus resisting and quoting a portion of Deut 8:3:And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Moses had reminded the people of the manna which God had given them. Though the manna was on the ground, it still was a test of faith for the people. They had to believe that God’s Word was trustworthy for their existence. If it was not God’s will for them to live they certainly would have died; therefore they did not live by bread alone. Likewise Jesus, knowing God’s Word, knew of the plan which was before Him and was trusting in the Father and His Word for sustenance. Jesus knew He would not die in the wilderness.The intention of this is to say that what matters more than having your need met, or matters more than the way it is met, is that there is a source of meeting our need who is fully trustworthy and good, and knows that is best—even God.And Jesus knows that there are greater things at stake than his physical comfort, even his physical need. God’s plan and his purposes are at stake. And for that we are eternally grateful.ConclusionSo here’s a good way to summarize what we’ve said today from Luke 4:1-13: Jesus is the second but successful Adam and the true Israel who proves himself to be qualified for the mission the Father has for him. Furthermore, in overcoming temptation by trusting the Father’s perfect plan and believing what He has said, Jesus provides an example for us to follow.And here are a couple of key elements of application to take away from this:Jesus remained right with the Father through perfect fellowship and obedience.How can we be made right with God? - Only through faith in what Jesus did for usIf Jesus can do it, why can’t I? - Jesus came and did what he did because you can’t do it!To resist temptation, we look to Jesus as both our means and our example.For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.Eager to be like Jesus? Then we’ll be serious students of how he resisted temptation.Further Discussion:Is there any truth from our study today that you consider to be applicable in some way to the current situation we face with COVID-19?How did Jesus pass the test that Israel did not?Why does it matter for us that Jesus is the second but successful Adam?In what way are you struggling with trusting God’s plan and provision?
- How Great is Our God
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