Journal Luke 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: 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 (Jesus) was hungry.
- The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread….”
- And the devil took him up and showed all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and said to (Jesus), “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been given to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours…”
- And he (the devil) took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him (Jesus), “if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here for it is written, (the angels will protect you from all physical harm)….” Luke 4:1-12
Observation: I noticed that the devil offered to Jesus everything that we are tempted (longing for/lusting) for: Self-sufficiency, Power/sovereignty, and freedom of consequences.
Again, it is shown true that Jesus suffered every temptation that we encounter so that He could be our High Priest before the Throne.
Analysis: If I ponder hard on the three “temptations” above, it is evident to me that I can categorize all of them into “I want autonomy”, absolute autonomy. That is what the serpent offered Eve, who persuaded Adam, “…you will be like God…” (Gen 3:4). This is what Lucifer wanted as well, “…I will make myself like the Most High…” (Is 14:14b) and it got him cast out of heaven.
This desire of wanting autonomy, of being self-sufficient, to be “like God”, is the daily temptation of all Men and should be recognized residing in us. It is because of this Indwelling Sin of wanting to be “like God”, somehow an equal that marks us. It is why Jesus died in our place, bringing salvation to all the world.
Hear the words of the writer of Hebrews: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who is EVERY respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15)
In the Wilderness, Jesus fasted for 40 days; 6 weeks, wandering around…and the scriptures say suffered temptation. THEN, after the 40 days were completed, the devil came to tempt. Jesus was probably at the end of his physical endurance, weaker than he had every experienced. The normal temptations were difficult to endure (“Ok, I’m done…time to call this trek quits and go to the closest Kentucky Fried Lamb location…”) and then the big guns came out.
What sustained Jesus? Adherence to his Father’s word, given to the Prophets, written, and studied. Jesus did not resist the devil on his reasoning but “…because the word of God says…”
I am tempted every moment of the day. In my weakness I don’t offer a resistance on my own principle, but because the Word of God says… Yeah, right—not! But it is my desire to please Him by pressing in by obeying His Word, knowing that He is pleased with my efforts.
Prayer: Father, daily I examine myself, daily you lovingly reveal my sin. My song of praise, my confession of dependence on You, is what I want to live for to the end of my days. I realize it wasn’t one and done 50 years ago, but that salvation is found who endures and perseveres to the End.
Please keep me from independence and reinforce gratitude (1 Thes 5) and dependence upon You.