JESUS TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL WITH THE PRIDE OF LIFE: "THROW YOURSELF DOWN FOR THE ANGELS TO LIFT YOU UP" (LUKE 4:9-12)
People are doing things for their own reasons, regarding what they want in life. That is the pride of life. What did Jesus want out of life? Remember, He is the Son of God. Did that truth never, even for an instant, go to His head, especially in being a Man that appeared to be so common among other men? Did He ever think, "Maybe I should do something to really make Myself stand out." That's exactly what the devil hoped He would do.
In the lust of the eyes, we are tempted to do wrong for things we think are right for us. Jesus was not blind to the world. Jesus looked at the world with the eyes of a real man. He processed what He saw with the mind and emotions of a real man. Did His foot never slip - never stumble over what He saw, in the desire to have it? If not, where was His focus as He faced so much He could have had? We will see, as we look at Him face the devil in the devil's temptation to have it all the devil's way.
JESUS TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL WITH THE LUST OF THE FLESH: "TELL THIS STONE TO BECOME BREAD" (LUKE 4:2B-4)
We all have various desires and cravings that require our attention. Jesus was a real Man, not a machine, nor a higher form of human being. He had desires and cravings. He had wants and needs. So, we need to think about how Jesus handled them in living for God, particularly in temptation to sin in satisfying them. We will see as we study this gut-level temptation Jesus faced.
The ongoing struggle with temptation has two challenges: being aware of it and knowing what to do with it. Jesus endured temptation. He faced real temptation. And He prevailed. And His victory means something for you and me, as we will see. Before we get to His specific temptations, though, we need to understand how Jesus was set up to be tested.
In His humanity, Jesus is a son of the first man God created. This message emphasizes what that means for our salvation as fallen descendants of that first man. While His Divine existence transcends time and space, Jesus' human existence is anchored in time and space, in history, as one of us, so that, as one of us, He could save us.
Luke takes us from Jesus as a boy to Jesus as a man. And we come to a point when God made publicly plain that Jesus is no plain man. Many ignore what makes Him being one of us so incredible and encouraging: Who He is to God as one of us. So let's follow along with Luke as he brings that together for us, as we see that, at His baptism, Jesus identified with all the people, and Jesus was identified out of all the people.
How far into people's lives are we willing to take the gospel, and how high of a price are we willing to pay to take the gospel? What expectations does God give with His gospel, for us to understand and express, and at what expense? John the Baptist was all-in, and he went all-out in obeying the call of God for him. As Luke concludes his account of John's public ministry, he sums up with the exhortations of John's preaching and the expense of John's preaching.
To use us, God will expose us with all of our unique abilities, in all of our unique assignments. So, what are we to do with the attention? John the Baptist shows us how to make it all about Christ. As we look at this exchange between John and the people, we are going to think carefully about their expectation and question, and then his answer of the might and right of Christ.
We Christians should be the most loving and respectful people that non-Christians ever meet. However, we must not confuse being loving and respectful with helping people avoid the discomfort of conviction under the clear and urgent call of God to repent from sin against Him. When John the Baptist went before the Lord, He preached with urgency. As we look more into his preaching, we see urgency in the call to the Lord and urgency in response to the call.
John the Baptist understood the appointed time for him to be silent in obscurity and to speak openly. On God's timetable, the time came for him to go public with the Gospel, and at this time, we are going to study John's public, prophetic ministry in Luke 3:1-20. As we begin with Luke 3:1-6, looking at John's prompting, preaching, and prophecy, we must consider what John's handling of the Gospel means for our handling of the Gospel, as we go before the Lord into the lives of those that do not know Him.
All Scripture is
and for training
that the man of God may be complete, equipped for
every good work.
...preach the word...
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2 BT