March 9/Luke 4

Verse 1 > This event in the wilderness that we are now going to read about happened after Jesus was water baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon him, and the Father had said how pleased he was with Jesus. So why would the Holy Spirit lead him into the wilderness, have him go without food for 40 days and then let the devil come and tempt him? I am sure there are a few reasons for this but I would only like to talk about one.

I believe it was to show us how to handle temptation to sin. If Jesus was tempted we will be too. It is not a sin to be tempted. It becomes sin when we give in to the temptation. Jesus had everything he needed to overcome temptation: prayer, which is what he was doing at his baptism. He had the Holy Spirit. He had the blessing of the Father. We have all these also.

When I sold motorcycles I would point out the strong features of the bike I was attempting to sell and then I would let the qualified customer take the bike out for a test ride to see if it would perform like I said it would. It was my way of showing off the capabilities of the bike. The bikes never failed me!

Having Jesus go into the wilderness to be tempted by the world’s greatest tempter was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing off capabilities of Jesus! In a sense he was letting Satan take him for a test just like he allowed Satan to take Job for a test ride. Jesus showed his endurance, his power, his holiness and his tenacity to please the Father in the midst of extreme difficulty. As followers of Jesus are we not equipped like Jesus; prayer, his power, his Holy Spirit, his holiness, and his tenacity to please the Father? Are we not blessed by the love of the Father? Sure we are. The Father is so proud of us that he uses trouble in our lives to show us off to the enemy! He lets us go for a test ride! He is confident in his ability to bring us through. Let us be confident in his ability to bring us through. God allows trouble to come to prove to us and Satan that we are his kids. Trouble allows us to show those around us how a Christian handles the situation. Doesn’t that just give you a new perspective on trouble right now?

1 John 4:4 (NLT) — 4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Verses 2-4 > In this first temptation Satan suggested that maybe the Father didn’t love Jesus all that much. If he loved you he wouldn’t let you go hungry. He is holding out on you. If Satan can get us to doubt the love of our heavenly Father he has a good chance of getting us to give in to the temptation. Think about it the last time you were in a troubling situation; didn’t the thought cross your mind that if the Father loved you he wouldn’t of let this happen to you? Right? That was just the enemy. Yes Jesus was hungry but he trusted the Father to meet his needs in the Father’s way and in the Father’s time. Throw the scripture at Satan like Jesus did.

Matthew 4:4 (NLT) — 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

He is saying, “I know the Father loves me, he said he did, and I know that will take care of me because he said he would.” There the word settles it.

Verses 6-8 > He challenged Jesus’ hope. The Father had already promised Jesus all the kingdoms in the world.

Psalm 2:7–8 (NLT) — 7 The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.

But first he had to suffer and die. First the suffering and then the glory. That is the way it is in the kingdom of God. We must suffer here before we get the glory of heaven. Satan offered Jesus the easy way out. Jesus you don’t have to go to the cross just worship me and I’ll give you the world. But Jesus knew that whatever you worship you will serve. There are no shortcuts in the Christian life. There is no easy way to spiritual victory and maturity. If Jesus had to endure the cross we as his disciples should not expect and easier way of life. If we worship and serve the Lord no matter how hopeless things seem to get in this life we have the hope that God will see us through. Don’t let the enemy steal your hope keep worshiping and serving the Lord just like Jesus did. Don’t cave in to easy because easy will end up being very difficult and there will be no hope. Just asked Judas who bowed to money. Just ask the person who has bowed to pleasure. Just ask the person who has bowed things. Just ask the person who has bowed to drugs. Just ask the person who has bowed to sex. What ever you bow to ends up being your master.

Luke 4:8 (NLT) — 8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Verses 9-12 > This last temptation questioned the Father’s faithfulness. Now you have noticed that Satan attacked the three basic virtues of Christianity > faith, hope and love. Satan in essence said, “Hey Jesus jump, the Father will protect you right?” He even had some scripture to back up what he said. But again Jesus had the answer. “I am not going to do something that the Father has not asked me to do.”

Luke 4:12 (NLT) — 12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

Our heavenly Father can be trusted to protect us and help us but if we willfully do something stupid and expect God to come through for us we are really trying his patience or as the scripture says, ‘test God’.

Example: I hate my job so I am just going to quit because I know that my God will supply all my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus > Philippians 4:19. Well if God didn’t tell you to quit you are just testing or trying him.

Example: I know this guy I want to marry isn’t a Christian but I am going to marry him anyway because matt 7:7 says ask and it shall be given to you. So if I ask I know that he will eventually become a Christian. Yikes! Talk about presuming on God’s faithfulness and God’s will.

Example: I know what I am doing is a sin but I get so much pleasure from it. Afterwards I  just go to God and confess it and he forgives me. Yikes! Do you think this is testing God? Lets not pull scripture out of context.

Our God is faithful and first and foremost he is faithful to his word. With a good sound knowledge of the word of God, with pray, with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the blessing of the Father, with Jesus as our brother, and with faith, hope, and love, Yes we can conquer Satan and his temptations!

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT) — 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Hey Hilltop let’s be wise to the schemes of the enemy. He is only out to steal, kill, and destroy our faith, hope and love. Let’s stand with Jesus and refuse to let him to do that.

Be Inspired Hilltop!




  1. Shawna Zelinsky says

    I would also say studying and knowing Gods word is also a great way to overcome temptation.

  2. Mark Gundersen says

    After his period of temptation he returned to his hometown by way of Capernium. He spoke in the synagogue and was given the scroll of Isaiah which prophacied about Jesus and his purpose. All who heard were amazed by what they heard but still saw him as a carpenter’s son. They became angry when he challenged them on their attitudes.

  3. Kathy Gundersen says

    I am so thankful for the cross and what Jesus did for me . He is the only way and the truth. He will never fail. It might not be the answer you want but if you believe and trust him it is the right way continue following. At that point you have 2 choices believe or not believe. Which will you choice?

  4. Mary Anne Frank says

    Thank you Pastor Dan for your words of encouragement . When I was a younger Christian I thought that the longer I followed Jesus the easier it would get. Boy was I wrong… The tempter continues to put harder and harder things in our path to try to get us to deny the love of our Father. I’m so thankful for the Word and for the Holy Spirit who points me in the right direction even though I fail miserably sometimes. Thank you , Jesus for your love and grace.

  5. Nicole Hamilton says

    Amen! Fantastic teaching about not testing God. That is a very important lesson to learn and take to heart!