How to deal with temptation-Luke 4:1-13

Luke 4:1-13 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Luca 4:1-13 “Gesù, pieno di Spirito Santo, ritornò dal Giordano e fu condotto dallo Spirito nel deserto per quaranta giorni, dove era tentato dal diavolo. Durante quei giorni non mangiò nulla; e quando furono trascorsi, ebbe fame. Il diavolo gli disse: «Se tu sei Figlio di Dio, di’ a questa pietra che diventi pane». Gesù gli rispose: «Sta scritto: “Non di pane soltanto vivrà l’uomo”». 5 Il diavolo lo condusse in alto, gli mostrò in un attimo tutti i regni del mondo e gli disse: «Ti darò tutta questa potenza e la gloria di questi regni; perché essa mi è stata data e la do a chi voglio. Se dunque tu ti prostri ad adorarmi, sarà tutta tua». Gesù gli rispose: «Sta scritto: “Adora il Signore, il tuo Dio, e a lui solo rendi il tuo culto”». 9 Allora lo portò a Gerusalemme e lo pose sul pinnacolo del tempio, e gli disse: «Se tu sei Figlio di Dio, gettati giù di qui, 10 perché sta scritto: “Egli darà ordini ai suoi angeli a tuo riguardo, di proteggerti” 11 e “Essi ti porteranno sulle mani, perché tu non urti col piede contro una pietra”». 12 Gesù gli rispose: «È stato detto: “Non tentare il Signore Dio tuo”».13 Allora il diavolo, dopo aver finito ogni tentazione, si allontanò da lui fino a un momento opportune.

Temptation is something every believer has to confront. No one is exempt, not even Jesus. He was tempted as one of many convincing proofs that He was a man. Hebrews 4:15 says, “ but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.”  It was the Spirit that led Him into the wilderness to prepare for the ministry that was to come. It was during this time of preparation that the devil used in order to tempt Jesus.

Notice that even the devil admitted in verse 3 that Jesus was the Son of God: “If you are the Son of God,”  Without question, Jesus knew that He was there to do battle. There was no better place for the devil to attack Jesus than in the desert. He was all alone and venerable to all the elements. The devil tempted Jesus in the three areas that he tempts everyone. First, the lust of the flesh (temptation when fasting-i.e. desire). Jesus’ answer was simply that the Word would sustain Him by quoting Deut. 8:3. Second, the lust of the eyes (temptation in worship-i.e. power). By consenting to this temptation, Jesus would be vacating the throne for some supposedly human reign. Jesus answers by quoting Deut. 6:13. Third, the pride of life (subverting the will of God i.e. glory). In order to bolster his temptation, the devil even quoted Psalms 91:11-12 saying the angels would protect him. How deceitful are the ways of satan! Jesus answers by quoting Deut. 6:16. If He submitted to this, the entire purpose and message of the cross would be nullified.

Some people have said that it was understandable that Jesus would be victorious because He was the Son of God; but how can humanity obtain victory when we are tempted? There are no shortcuts to victory over temptation. Paul very directly answers the question about temptation that was asked by the Corinthians: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13). You depend on the power of the God’s Word, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of His presence. The solution used by Jesus works every time it is applied!

Pray with me:  Lord, I know what You want from my life; I also know that the devil wants to tempt me away from You. Help me to know the power of Your Word and presence… and the wisdom to see the deception of the enemy behind every temptation.

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