Temptation, 1 – Luke 4.1-4

“Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone.’”

(NET)

Between the last words and now, Luke has given us an account of John the Baptist (3.1-22) and of Jesus’ genealogy (3.23-38). As we move into ch.4 we see Jesus being tempted (cf. Hebrews 4.15).

The first temptation concerns physical need. Hungry from fasting (He ate nothing during those days…) Jesus is tempted with having all His physical needs, and more, met miraculously. 

“The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.””

It’s not surprising that the first temptation thrown at Jesus is based on His immediate state. Hungry? How about you forsake faith for food?

What does Jesus respond with?

 “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone.’”

First and foremost we see Jesus answering temptation with the Word of God. He quotes from Deuteronomy 8.3 and throws back to the exiles in the wilderness. Was it God’s will for the exiles to live or die in the wilderness? Was it God’s will for Jesus to live or die in this wilderness?

Thinking of our liar, lunatic, or Lord categories;

Would someone lying about who He is and His purpose be so foolish to refuse food if He was forty days famished?

Would someone not thinking properly? Perhaps. The measured, contextualised, and Scriptural response is not one of madness though, is it?

Again then the conclusion is that Jesus here is demonstrating His Lordship, but also His obedience to God. John A. Martin writes,

Jesus, knowing God’s Word, knew of the plan which was before Him and was trusting in the Father and His Word for sustenance.” 

For you and for me, what a great example this is. The Lord Jesus standing on the authority and sustenance of the Word of God in the face of temptation. Questions to consider today:

Do we know of the plan before us? 

Do we trust in the Father and His Word for sustenance? 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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