Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye]. And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will. Therefore, if You will do homage to and worship me [just once], it shall all be Yours. Luke 4:5-7 [AMP]
Today was one of those days where I read a passage, I have read a ton of times but I still gleaned so much from it that I could swear I had not consumed before. I bathed my quiet time in prayer beforehand and then followed it up with prayer for all the things/people my prayer app (PrayerMate) brought to my attention. I end up praying for everything on my prayer list every two days and a lot things, every day (its just the way the app works and it helps me make the most of the time I get to pray each day).
I am not going to be able to cover everything the Lord shared with me in my quiet time today but I will pull out the main points (essentially the main things I took away from each temptation mentioned). Although I only posted verses 5-7 above, the full passage I studied was verses 3 through 13.
First, the 3 temptations covered here are only a small part of the temptation of Jesus by satan as it says in verse 2 that satan tempted Jesus all 40 days in the wilderness. These three were the ones Luke convers because they came when Jesus was at his weakest being super hungry and tired.
Temptation 1: Knowing Jesus was so hungry, satan told Jesus “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered with scripture (Deuteronomy 8:3) “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'” — There is a lot here but the thing that stood out to me the most was that when satan challenged Jesus with “If you are the Son of God”, Jesus did not address satan’s challenge in His answer. Why? Because Jesus knew exactly Who He was – just ~40 days earlier a voice out of Heaven called Him ‘Son’ after He was baptized. With us, satan is always questioning our position as adopted sons and daughters, our justification is complete, we should know Whose we are.
Temptation 2: Next the devil tried to show all the land he would give Jesus; all Jesus needed to do was worship satan one time. Essentially what satan was offering Jesus was a kingdom on earth large than what the Romans had; enticing Jesus with control of a territory at which He could bring His message of hope…but it would mean compromise and accomplishing His goals by the world’s methods. Christ had already chosen the lowly path, He had already identified Himself with the sinners He was there to save. Choosing this devil’s offer would mean turning His back on His calling. Once again Jesus responds with a passage from Deuteronomy 6:13 pointing out that the worship of God is exclusive. None other than he is to be worshipped.
Temptation 3: This time satan leads Jesus to the highest point on the temple in Jerusalem and tells Jesus to throw Himself off and let spectacle show of the angels coming down to rescue Jesus before He hit the ground. Satan is again challenging Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and now satan misuses scripture to try and convince Jesus that this is supported in God’s Word. Jesus does the slap down of telling the devil not to test God – Deuteronomy 6:16.
So here is the biggest point for me in this 3rd temptation – Jesus would have to choose to jump…satan could not push Him off. The same is true for us -> satan can put things/opportunities in our way to tempt us but at the end of the day, we are the ones who choose to fall prey to it or not. In each of these circumstances Jesus’ response in combat is TRUTH. He just responds with the TRUTH of God’s Word….even when satan tries to misuse God’s Word to fool us. We must be intimate in our knowledge of the TRUTH to fight temptation and the TRUTH comes from wielding the Sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word. it is the only offensive implement in the ‘Full armor of God’ and we must engage with it deftly.