The nation of Israel is called a son of God (Ex 4:22-23). Adam is called a son of God (Lk 3:38). Yet, both of these sons succumb to various temptations (i.e., tests). The unique Son of God (Lk 1:32-33, 3:21-22 cf. Jn 1:18) succeeds where Israel and Adam fail. He demonstrates His submissive faithfulness to the Father, confirming that He has the qualities necessary for His messianic ministry — which subsequently begins (Lk 4:14f.)
- Temptations are… tempting. Especially when we are vulnerable. What seems pleasing and/or convenient to us can be contrary to God’s will. But we must trust in the LORD, the only One worthy of our trust, our worship, our service.
- Jesus succeeded where Adam and Israel failed – concerning food (priorities), false worship, and testing the LORD.
- Jesus demonstrated His faithful obedience and loyalty to the Father, confirming that He truly has the qualities of God’s Son1
- Because of the sacrifice of God’s One and Only Son (Jn 3:16) all can become sons and daughters of God by believing (faithing) in His name (Jn 1:12). The primary characteristic of a child of God is faithfulness to God
- All of the tests were intended to disrupt His relationship with the Father. The devil also wants to disrupt our faithful relationship with the Father (cf. Eph 6:12) – by tempting us to be unfaithful and independent .
- Jesus uses Scripture to combat the devil’s tests. Led by the Holy Spirit and armed with the Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17; Stein, 146) we too can resist. Yet, misinterpreting, misapplying, and distorting God’s word are diabolical (cf. Gen 3:1)
- Nothing is more important to Jesus than doing the will of God. Nothing should be more important to us than doing the will of God – which entails self-denial and self-sacrifice (Lk 9:23) – to the glory of God (cf. Is 43:7; Eph 1:14).
Here’s an extended clip of the video I embedded in the slideshow. The “wing” of the temple (complex) from which Jesus was told to throw himself off was likely 450 ft. high. Josephus reports that people got dizzy just by looking down into the valley from the Royal Portico (see slides 24 and 25). This young man walks on the rooftop of a 38-story building…
Greek Text (Luke 4:1-13, UBS5)
1 Ἰησοῦς δὲ πλήρης πνεύματος ἁγίου ὑπέστρεψεν ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἰορδάνου καὶ ἤγετο ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ 2 ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου. καὶ οὐκ ἔφαγεν οὐδὲν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν ἐπείνασεν. 3 Εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος, Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος. 4 καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Γέγραπται ὅτι Οὐκ ἐπʼ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος1.
5 Καὶ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτὸν ἔδειξεν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου 6 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος, Σοὶ δώσω τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἅπασαν καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἐμοὶ παραδέδοται καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν θέλω δίδωμι αὐτήν 7 σὺ οὖν ἐὰν προσκυνήσῃς ἐνώπιον ἐμοῦ, ἔσται σοῦ πᾶσα. 8 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Γέγραπται, Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις.
9 Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω 10 γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ τοῦ διαφυλάξαι σε 11 καὶ ὅτι Ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε, μήποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου. 12 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Εἴρηται, Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου.
13 Καὶ συντελέσας πάντα πειρασμὸν ὁ διάβολος ἀπέστη ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ ἄχρι καιροῦ.2
1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit, into the wilderness, 2 being tempted forty days by the devil. He did not eat anything in those days, and when they came to an end, He was famished. 3 The devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this rock to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It has been written: One shall not live bread on alone.” [Dt 8:3]
5 Then he [the devil] took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “To you I will give this entire domain and their glory, because to me it has been granted, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Thus, if you bow down and worship before me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It has been written: You shall (bow down) and worship the LORD your God and serve Him only [Dt 6:13].”
9 He [the devil] led Him into Jerusalem and set Him on the pinnacle (wing) of the temple and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here. 10 For it has been written: “He will command His angels concerning you to protect you [Ps 91:11] 11 and that: “On their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone [Ps 91:12].” 12 Jesus answered him: “It has been written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test” [Dt 6:16].
13 And when the devil had finished every test, he departed from Him until an opportune time3
- Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
- Arnold, Clinton E. (Mark Strauss’s Chapter on Luke in) Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002.
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- Bock, Darrell L. Luke. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.
- Bock, Darrell L. Luke: 1:1–9:50. Vol. 1. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1994.
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- Evans, Craig A. Luke. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1990.
- Garland, David E. Luke. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: . Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.
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- Johnsson, William G. Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, His Message, His Passion. Vol. 1 & 2. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute; Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2015.
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- Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996.
- Marshall, I. Howard. The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1978.
- Marshall, I. Howard. “Luke.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 978–1020. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.
- Morris, Leon. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 3. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988.
- Schreiner, Thomas R. “Luke.” In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, 3:799–839. Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995.
- Silva, Moisés, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.
- Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.
- Wilcock, Michael. The Savior of the World: The Message of Luke’s Gospel. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979.