Temptation – part 3

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Please read Luke 4 vs 9-13

Luke 4 v 12. “Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

In this third temptation of Christ, the devil appeals to two things about Jesus. First, that he was the Son of God and secondly, he confronts Christ’s determination to obey God and to trust Holy Scripture.

The devil points to a Scripture that promises angelic protection – a promise God makes in Psalm 91 vs 11, 12. This is a very clever temptation because all God’s children are constantly urged not to simply claim to be children of God, but to act on it and give evidence of it. And is it not true that many Christians feel guilty because of what they perceive as lack of faith or not enough faith within themselves.

But the temptation was a massive deception and Jesus saw through it all. It was not a challenge to trust God but to test Him. The devil suggested that if Christ threw himself off the temple it would prove he was the Son of God. But Christ saw immediately it would not be proof He was the Son of God, but rather it would be abuse of His glorious status as Son of God.

There was absolutely no human need that would be met if Christ jumped of the temple nor was there any gospel reason for Christ to through himself down. It was simply an attempt to get Jesus to put God on probation – to force God to act or be accused of unfaithfulness, which would suit the devil nicely. This would have confused the roles of Son and Father but then Jesus refused to act and this demonstrated that he was indeed the true Son of God.

Let us be careful in our own lives that we do not behave in foolish and reckless ways believing the Lord will provide or protect us. It is unbecoming of us as Christians to behave in this way and nor should we expect God to honour our foolhardiness. Never put God to the test. The world loves us to do so they can ridicule us and the God in whom we trust.

Rather, as Jesus did, we trust God’s word and act only in conformity with his revealed will. Knowing God’s will is not mystical, a gift or ability, it is a combination of knowing the scriptures and exercising prayerful common sense.

We thank God that our Lord and Saviour did not succumb to the devil’s temptations. Worst temptations would befall him later as when they shouted “Come down from the Cross”. But that battle, real as it was, was already won here in the desert.

Be careful and be prayerful

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