Tag Archives: temptation of Jesus

Sunday Devotional: What the temptation of Jesus tells us

Luke 4:1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written
            You shall worship the Lord, your God,
                        and him alone shall you serve.
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said 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 guard you,
            With their hands they will support you,
            lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
            You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.

The account in Luke 4 of the temptation of Jesus in the desert is nothing short of fascinating.

What the account tells us is that:

  1. The devil wasn’t sure Jesus is the Second Person of the Triune Godhead (“If you are the Son of God“), and tried to trick Jesus to affirm and reveal His divinity. This means that the devil is not all-knowing. Only God is omniscient.
  2. That being said, the devil suspected Jesus is the Son of God. Imagine the outsized ego of this creature who had the chutzpah — the audacity — to tempt God Himself. That means none of us is spared being tempted.
  3. The devil is clever, and knows what buttons to push. Three times the devil tried to provoke Jesus into affirming His divinity — by performing a miracle (turn a stone into bread); by tempting Jesus with the promise of power and glory; and by goading Jesus to prove He is the Son by flinging Himself off the mountain. This means that the devil is an opportunist who uses his every wile to tempt us by exploiting our pride and vulnerabilities.
  4. The account in Luke 4 ends with this sentence: “When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.” The devil never gives up and is constantly on the prowl. If he failed at tempting us this time, he will return to tempt us again, and again, and again. We must be vigilant — at all times and in all places and occasions, for our enemy is relentless and stops at nothing.

May the peace of Jesus Christ, Our Lord be with you.