Jesus, Tempted

Jesus, Tempted

What sorts of things do you find tempting? Although there may be similarities, our temptations are uniquely ours. They are tailored to our personal wants and desires. Temptations are tempting because we think that they have something good to offer us. We give in to temptations when we think that doing so will make our lives easier and better. Of course, there is always a cost when we do that – a cost that is often far greater than we expected. And although we might look to our temptations to satisfy us, they ultimately fail to give us exactly what we need.

This weekend, we’re looking with Luke at the time, immediately following Jesus’ baptism, when the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. Jesus spent 40 days there, fasting; at the start of His public ministry, Jesus spent time focusing on His Father. And it was while there that the devil came and tempted Jesus.

What sorts of things tempted Jesus? For starters, bread. Jesus was hungry, and the desire for a nice, fresh loaf of bread must have been intense. Then there was the temptation to reclaim the world there and then, instead of having to go through with the Father’s plan. And then there was the temptation to prove that the Father would actually look out for Jesus.

If you think about it, the fact that we know what happens means that Jesus must have told His apprentices about it. He didn’t, as we might be tempted to do, pretend that He was immune to temptation. No, as Hebrews 4:15 points out, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.”

We can certainly learn from Jesus how we should respond to temptation. But is that the main reason why Luke tells us about it? And why, if it occurred immediately following Jesus’ baptism, does Luke interrupt the flow with a genealogy?

Today’s text: Luke 4:1-13

To discuss:

  • Why does Luke tell us about Jesus’ temptation after giving us His genealogy?
  • Was Jesus actually tempted by this stuff? Why didn’t He give in to temptation?


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