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10: Chosen; Now Tested

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 4:1-13

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 4:1-11    Mark 1:12-13  Luke 4:1-13

Outline:

  1. Jesus is Alone                                                       Luke 4:1-2
  2. Satan Visits Jesus                                                 Luke 4:3-12
  3. Satan Leaves Jesus and Angels Arrive                Luke 4:13

Context/Discussion/Comments:

This is the account of Jesus’ temptation while in the desert.  God the Father is allowing Satan to tempt Jesus so as to assure Jesus, The Father, and us that He is worthy to be the Lamb of God.  Jesus’ temptations concern possessions [food], power/authority, and pride.  These are all common to man.

The order in Luke is different than in Matthew in that the second and third temptations are reversed.  I prefer Luke’s account because they start in the desert with food.  The second temptation concerning the kingdoms could have taken place on a high mountain in the Judean desert like Masada.  And the third temptation moves to the temple mount in Jerusalem.  It makes chronological sense in that Jesus is next seen traveling from Jerusalem to Galilee.  But remember, the order is not important.

After being chosen, there is often a time of waiting for specific instructions for determining the organization, clarifying the objective, and formulating a plan to accomplish the given task.  This is when we are most vulnerable to Satan’s attack.  He wants to disrupt God’s plan before His designated servants can get out of the starting blocks toward the goal.  This is what is happening here.  Jesus has been chosen, baptized [commissioned], and is in the desert alone for the purpose of worship and defining His plan for ministry.  It is an uncomfortable period physically [hot, dusty, no food] and Satan comes tempting Jesus saying food is available, you can be king now and by-pass being The Lamb of God, and your Father will rescue you if you happen to make a wrong decision.  This is a very common thought pattern for us as humans when beginning a specific ministry.  I am God’s chosen servant, therefore I deserve food and can take the shortest pass to the end result.  If I make a mistake, God will come to my side and correct it.  After all, He is Sovereign.

All this is true except that God’s will is that we be humble and obedient.  We are a small part of His overall plan.  It may require hardship through obedience for God to accomplish all that He has intended.  Food is not as important as knowing God’s will and His plan.  We may have to be “lambs” before we can be “kings” for God to accomplish His purpose. Don’t do something stupid.  Obey His will and His plan.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Time alone with God is important but be alert to outside influences.
  2. Priorities are indeed important in life. We have been given responsibilities to carry out in a humble and obedient manner. We are not to deviate from His mission. Christ didn’t.
  3. Be particularly careful and prayerful so as to be in God’s will in making decisions concerning your job/vocation, where you will live, and your spouse. They are mission fields and your spouse is to be your helper. Be careful but don’t procrastinate. Know God’s will and be decisive.
  4. It is far better to have angels come and attend you with comfort and assurance than to have angels come to your rescue and correct your mistakes.

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