Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Luke 4:9-13

Luke 4:9-13
And he led Him into Jerusalem and set Him upon the point of the temple and said, “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down from this place.  For it has been written that ‘He will command His angels regarding you in order to guard you’ and that ‘they will lift you up upon hands lest you should strike your foot against a stone.’  And answering, Jesus said to him, “It has been said that, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’”  And while all these tests ended, the devil departed from Him until the right time.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

 Once more we hear the devil tempt Jesus against His need for approval as well as His ambition.  The devil reminds Jesus that He is God’s Messiah.   He is the Son of God.  There is nobody more important to God’s plan than Jesus.  Surely Jesus would revel in that distinction.  Furthermore, why wouldn’t God protect the Messiah?  Jesus, as the Messiah, would have God’s approval.  In protecting Him, God would demonstrate approval.  So we can see the devil playing into Jesus human desire to feel ambition and approval.  Fortunately, as we saw yesterday, Jesus is able to refute these temptations and continue to rely upon the Father.

Where are you guilty of following you ambition?  Where are you guilty for making decision based on your need for approval?  How can you stay pure and aligned with God’s will in these areas?

Second Thought:

 Jesus allows scripture to interpret scripture.  Rather than get into an argument with the devil about how wrong he is, Jesus puts the verses that the devil quotes in greater context.  Yes, God cares deeply about His Son.  God will care for and protect the Son.  But we are not to force God’s hand.  God will protect those who are in Him.  God will protect the obedient.  When we go outside of God’s will and put God in a position of protecting us in our disobedience, we do not necessarily have God’s promise.  God may just let us deal with the consequences of our rebellion!  Therefore, Jesus is right.  God will protect His Messiah.  But even more important is the fact that God’s Messiah will stay within the will of the Father.

Why is it important to understand context in the Bible?  Have you ever witnessed people taking scripture and misusing it as the devil does here?  How can you imitate Jesus in those moments?

Third Thought:

Jesus wins.  This battle is over.  However, the war is not yet complete.  Yes, we know from the perspective of God that the war will also be won.  But at this point in time, the war is still being waged.  Satan is a master tactician.  He will search out cracks in the defenses.  If he cannot find them, he knows how to retreat and wait for a more opportune time.  That is what we see here with Satan.  Jesus beats him.  But Satan knows that there will be a time when he can have more influence on the people around Jesus.  So he departs and waits for the right time.

Have you ever felt victorious in your victory against Satan?  Why is it important to celebrate the victories?  Why is it important to remember that the battle may be won but the war is still being fought?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 4:14-15
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