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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 8 August 2016

The temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:1-12)

There are many lessons that we can draw from this incident. First, we see in it many wonderful truths about Jesus. We observe his humility in allowing himself to be attacked by the devil. It would not have been difficult for Jesus to destroy the devil. But that was not the kind of victory that was required from Jesus. Instead, he was to succeed where Adam failed. Adam failed in disobeying the word of God. Jesus succeeded by obeying the Word of God consistently.

We are not to imagine that Jesus succeeded merely by quoting verses at the devil. His triumph was the outcome of living according to the requirements of the Bible. If Jesus had not been living according to the Bible, the devil would have focussed on those areas. There was nothing in the life of Jesus that gave the devil an opportunity to defeat him.

Nor are we to imagine that Jesus, because he was sinless, was tempted less than we are. Often when we are tempted we give in very quickly. Those who hold out the longest feel more of temptation’s power. Jesus broke the power of temptation by refusing to give in to any of the ones suggested by the devil.

We should also note that all of the temptations that Jesus faced came from outside of him. They did not arise from within him. This is a reminder of his perfect holiness. In him was no sin. We can be tempted by an action because we want to do it. Often we don’t mind being tempted. Jesus hated the experience of temptation and despised the possibility of succumbing to it. There was nothing in him that was attracted to the devil’s suggestions.

Jesus is the perfect example of resisting the devil and doing so until the tempter gives up. The obvious response to temptation is to say no, and keep on obeying the instructions of God. It is also the case that we need to understand the Bible because sometimes the devil can misuse it in order to persuade us to do something wrong.

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