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Study to Grow

By Randy Dillon Part 2 of 2 Luke 4:1-13 1¶ “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 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. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” 9¶ 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, 10 for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11¶ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”

***** The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness by Satan bears a close remembrance to I John 2:16. John warns against the lust of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life. In each of these issues Eve and Adam failed. Their failure brought sin into the world and into every human being born since. Over the centuries no one has behaved perfectly with regard to God's righteousness; that is, until Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Second Adam, Jesus, did fulfill every expectation of righteousness including His response to Satan's temptations in the wilderness.. First, consider that the initial temptation of Jesus occurred after 40 days of fasting. At a very physically weak point, Satan used the lust of the flesh as he tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread in order to satisfy His hunger. Jesus did not fail this test because He well understood the importance of adherence to the word of God, above even the most basic need of food. We see, too, that Jesus did not forsake bread but rather "bread alone." Whatever material things we may need in this life, we must never place those things above our worship of God. On the second issue of lust of the eyes, Satan tempted Jesus by showing Him all of the kingdoms of the world. He tempted Jesus with the power and glory of all the kingdoms of the world "in a moment of time." This seems to indicate that Satan brought to the eyes of Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world that not only presently existed, but also those of the past and future. To visually see all of the earthly glory of these kingdoms would have been quite enticing. Again, Jesus appealed to the written word of God. Rather than worshipping the things of this world, only God should be worshipped and served. Last, Satan tempted Jesus with the pride of life, the egotism of self-righteousness and the desire for the approval of the crowd. By tempting Jesus to cast Himself from the temple pinnacle, so that angels would protect Him from harm, Satan was tempting Jesus to place His pride of the divine station which He held over His mission from the Father. Again, Jesus answered that one should not tempt "the Lord thy God." This was an early declaration of His divinity. Thus, while the First Adam (and Eve) failed in all three of the areas of temptation, Jesus, in His human perfection, succeeded in all three temptations. Because He has faced these temptations, He is able to more fully advocate as our emissary to the Father. He was tempted in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life as was Adam and Eve and as are we. Yet, He sinned not, while we remain sinful. In our sinful existence we now have a perfect intermediary who has perfectly faced temptations alike to our own and emerged from them without sin or failure. This is our Savior and Lord.

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