Luke 4:1-13 offers the sweet reassurance that Christ passed all the tests the world and Satan put before Him. Hear God’s Word.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle 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,’and, ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. NASB
It’s appropriate for this week’s lessons to be about temptation with this scripture in the path. God’s tests are never easy because He knows just what I need just when I need it. The good news is that they are never too difficult for me to pass with the help of His Holy Spirit. The teachers in this world don’t encourage assistance, but God insists upon it. When I attempt to follow Him alone, I fail. When I allow the Holy Spirit to help and keep me accountable, I am able to pass the tests before me. God’s ways and the world’s ways are different indeed, and that is never more obvious than with the lessons in temptation.
Temptation is a necessary part of my spiritual growth. Without it, I am a lukewarm Christian at best and a pious hypocrite at worst. I not saying to look for temptation, but when it appears, I must face it. I have to be tested, but the passage today makes it clear that God is never to be tested. When I test Him, He reminds me of Who He is and Who I am not. Those are lessons not easily forgotten, and I have had more than my share of them. I’m learning to go to God in earnest, honest supplication when I find myself in the throes of temptation. He sees what I do not and helps me find His truth. It’s never what I expect but always what I need.
I’m humbled by God’s lessons this week and thankful for His patience and love. Temptations are great for humbling, and they bring me to God’s presence with the proper attitude by reminding me that I am not only human but also a sinner. Knowing that brought me to the place of accepting His love 48 years ago, and God reminded me of that special time this morning in worship. He bid me to remember that special moment when I first realized I needed Him and know that I need Him all the more now:)