Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying 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 protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13

Today is a big day as the first shipments for the coronavirus vaccine begin arriving around the country. We have a long way to go to get back to a new normal and that, we hope, begins today. 2020 has felt like life in the wilderness and no one has felt that more than those who continue to suffer, those who have lost loved ones, and those who live in fear of being the next one to go.

For far too long, the Christian faith has been marketed as the panacea for all bad things in life. Accept Jesus and your problems will go away. Walk in the Lord’s favor and you’ll get that promotion at work; you’ll achieve financial success and independence. Go see that faith healer holding the revival in that stadium and you will leave your crutches behind. I know I’m being a bit harsh here but I think you recognize some of this.

Few people are honest enough to tell you that the Christian faith might make your life more difficult. But that is what Jesus discovered as he left the Jordan river behind and found himself hungry and alone. Life got hard and the Tempter showed up with his promises.

The Tempter offered three things – you’ll get your material needs met, you’ll have power over others, and you’ll be assured of your personal security. Aren’t they the big ones that always seem to work?  

Jesus didn’t fight the temptations, he didn’t even fight with the Tempter, he met each temptation with faith. He stayed true to his center. He wasn’t looking for an easy way out. He didn’t seek to dominate others. He didn’t seek personal glory. He wasn’t peddling magic so he wasn’t swayed by magic. His trust in God was his pillars of fire and cloud.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. You have freed us to be response-able; may we face our responsibilities today with courage, faith, and perseverance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

One Response to “Luke 4:1-13”

  1. Bert Says:

    You were not being harsh at all. You were giving us a wake-up call.

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