“And Jesus answered him, “It is written…” (Luke 4:4a)
“And Jesus answered him, “It is written…” (Luke 4:8a)
“And Jesus answered (the devil), “It is said, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:12)
But, to note: “And he (the devil) took him (Jesus) 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…” (Luke 4:9)
Observation: This is the first time we see an interaction between the devil (the Tempter) and Jesus. And what do I see? More than a bit of Scripture swordplay…
Analysis: Scriptural swordplay and bible jousting gets a bad rap and deservedly so. Most of that practice is one-upmanship sort of stuff.
However, if I take a broader and more holistic view, doesn’t the Bible encourage me to do just that? Let me take the prideful “I know more scripture” attitude out of it but think about how to live my life in reverence to the Most High?
That silly phrase that many have learned “God (or the Bible) says it, therefore I believe it” may be lacking somewhat in conviction and it becomes a phrase awarding being obstinate in the flesh. Shouldn’t that phrase become, “God (or the Bible) says it, therefore I will OBEY it?”
The Word of God is the necessary parcel to be used to have my mind transformed. The Word is Life. I need to transplant my sinful, dead mind. I need to use something alive to affect that transformation. Therefore, the Living Word of God is the instrument of God’s Grace to affect that change.
Jesus, when confronted with temptation by the devil, didn’t answer him saying, “In My Name…” or anything like that. He didn’t even say, “No.” Jesus set us an example to follow. I respond with “It is written…”
It is worthy to note that the devil can use this too. I will see it with ordinary folks trying to argue. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Best be prepared with careful study and when the answer comes to mind “I don’t know…” be a Berean and go find out what is true and factual.
Nevertheless, if I base my life on the review, “I do this because ‘lt is written…” I can’t go wrong—
Prayer: “On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand…” Lord, when I stand on You, the Living Word, I stand firm on a foundation that is NOT a concept, NOT an idea, but someone whom, though unseen, is real. I find you pulsating through the written Word of God, objective and factual. I am humbled to be able to just start to understand You and your Gospel. AMEN