Let’s look at some great lessons from the temptation of Jesus. I love reading the Bible and noting Jesus’s examples to us. He is our master and we ought to follow His examples in all that we do. Temptation is something we all go through, so it is very nice to know Jesus also went through the same thing and we can always learn from how He handled it.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin – Hebrews 4:15
So, roll with me as the Holy Spirit take us on a ride through Luke 4: 1 – 13.
1 Then Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness
Lesson 1: The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. He could have led Him anywhere but He led him into the wilderness. This was a very needed seclusion for Jesus before He started His ministry. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect the Holy Spirit to only lead us to good and comfortable places which are usually our fantasy and expectations. However, for the glory of God to be manifested through us, we will be lead to different places at very phases and seasons of our lives to bring us into maturity in Christ and prepare us for his purpose for us.
2 for forty days to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Lesson 2: Jesus hasn’t eaten anything for 40 days, it is common sense that he would be very hungry. The devil knows this and so he targets our weaknesses. The devil uses our weaknesses to bring us down and leads us into sin, while God uses our weakness for His glory.
Lesson 3: In verse 3 the devil said, “IF you are the son of God turn the stone into bread.” Devil had two goals with this statement. His first goal was to bring out PRIDE in Jesus. He said, “IF you are the son of God.” The devil clearly knows that Jesus is the son of God but he wanted to hurt Jesus’ pride and get Him to prove himself thereby sinning. Likewise us, the devil knows that we are children of God and God grants us grace. Thus, he comes to us saying, “IF you are a child of God, commit that sin and let’s see if God forgives you.” And in our quest to prove him wrong and boast, we foolishly fall into his trap.
Never ever entertain the devil. His full-time job is to be a deceiver and a liar. He is the father of all lie, so we cannot outwit him in that area. So, it is best not to entertain him at all or try to prove anything.
Lesson 4: His second goal was to get Jesus to satisfy His flesh – Instant gratification. The Bible tells us to crucify our flesh daily. Jesus is the son of God and He could have proven it but He chose to be humble. He could have turned the stone into bread and satisfy His hunger but He chose not to satisfy His flesh and avoid instant gratification.
4 But Jesus answered him, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone. But on every word of God.”
5 So he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 The devil said to him, “I will give you their splendor and all this authority because it has been given over to me, and I can give it to anyone I want. 7 If you, then, will worship me, all will be yours.”
Lesson 5: Notice, Devil took Jesus UP and showed him all the kingdoms and splendors. This is contrary to how God works with us. He doesn’t take us up instantly. He slowly moves us up. We start from the valley and we grow until we get to the mountaintop. It is a process with God. While the devil rushes and skips all of that and shows us the riches to entice us and get us on his side because we love instant gratification.
The devil also said, “All of this authority belongs to him and he can give it to whoever he desires.”
Lesson 6: We must remember that the word of God says that all this shall pass away, even the devil and his mirage of a splendor. He might give you instant pleasure but the pleasure is also instantly removed. Also, we know the devil is a liar and he doesn’t tell you the whole truth. He gets your legs in the door and traps you. Like my Nigerian Yoruba people say, “He gives you a crown and takes your whole head in return.” You will lose more than you had before you submitted to him. So not worth it. We must set our hearts on eternal things.
So, our response should be like that of Christ,
8 And Jesus answered him,“It is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
For God’s blessings are permanent and he doesn’t ask you to pay Him back. He blessed you as a father blesses his child.
9 So he took him to Jerusalem, had him stand 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 give his angels orders concerning you,
to protect you, 11 and
they will support you with their hands,
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone.”
Again we see the devil trying to get Jesus to boast and be prideful by using the words, “IF you are the son of God….”
However, what really shocked me is the fact that the devil quoted the Bible. He quoted Psalm 91.
Lesson 7: This really tells me that it is not everyone who knows how to quote the Bible or knows the word that is of God. It is not enough the know the word, we must be doers of the word. Some people use the word to their advantage. They use it out of context and they use it to convince you to continue in sin.
For example, they will tell you it is okay in sin because God’s grace is sufficient for you.
So many fake pastors and preachers are out there who are of their father the devil and not of God. So we must make sure not to be deceived. You must know the Word of God for yourself and as the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, we must test every word or prophecies and hold on to the truth only.
Now Jesus could have jumped down without breaking a bone but as an example to us, He didn’t. Psalm 91 isn’t a promise for testing God. It is a promise of God to protect His people. Those who dwell in the secret place.
So, don’t test God.
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said: Do not test the Lord your God.”
13 After the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.
James 4:7 says, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
How do we even know when we are been tempted in some situation?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for that important question, Soso. This is a question we all are probably faced with. “How do I know if this is a temptation or not.”
The Bible tells us in James 1:14, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.”
Telling us that temptation starts with us. It starts with a desire (usually bad/evil but maybe good sometimes) in our hearts.
vs 15 says, “These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” You see it’s a process. From desire – temptation – sin (action) – death.
The devil is prowling around looking for who to destroy and when he sees someone who is dwelling on a desire, he uses it and tries to tempt us with it. In Jesus’s case, the devil saw that Jesus desired food. Jesus was hungry and devil saw that as an opportunity. This desire doesn’t even have to be evil. Hunger isn’t an evil desire. But like I mentioned in the article, the devil goal was for Jesus to display pride and lust for food. Giving in to such temptation leads to sin. See our previous blog post (https://growinggodseternalfamily.com/2017/09/14/sin-begins-as-a-desire/) for more discussion on how desires can lead to sin.
So, we know we are being tempted when we begin to think or do something contrary to God’s law. Things that satisfy the flesh not the spirit. Things that do not bring glory to God but are of the world such as, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
Note that temptation is always accompanied by deception. So, as Christians, we must always be spiritually alert. Don’t be conceited. If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). It is also not enough to be clothed with the Amor of God. We must be prayerful and alert (Ephesians 6: 18b).
Jesus also told his disciples this in Matthew 26: 14, “Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The temptation by itself is not a sin; it is a choice we must make. It does not become sin until we enter into it, accept it or submit to it. We can make that choice and figure out if it’s a temptation or not by righteously analyzing the situation/ desire by the help of the Holy Spirit and with the Word of God. We will be able to know right from wrong.
I hope I answered your question. May God almighty grant us all the strength we need to push forward in Him and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name. Amen.
Thank you so much. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Advance.
I agree that sometimes we fall under the trap of the idea that the Holy Spirit will only lead us to comfortable locations. God is always interested in stretching us.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hmmm, I like that word, “Stretch.” He stretches us to our full potential. And nothing stretches well by being pulled lightly. It’s gotta be pulled real tight. Intense pruning. Thank God for his grace and love.
Thanks for reading Heather. God bless🤗
LikeLiked by 1 person