Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” Luke 4:1-4
Life is full of choices and we are presented with them everyday. If you drink coffee each morning like I do, you have to decide between brewing a Keurig cup at home, stopping by a fast food restaurant for breakfast and coffee, maybe making the extra trip to swing by Starbucks or Port City Java, or wait until you get to work and drink the free stuff. See the dilemma here? Choices that we make will impact our lives in one-way or another and we constantly face them. How do we know what God wants us to do and how to make wise choices?
We see in these first few verses of Luke 4 that the devil was trying to trap Jesus. He was trying to take advantage of the weak position that Jesus was in and get him to make a bad choice. This is a period of time when Jesus had not eaten anything for forty days. I don’t know about you, but if I went without a meal for forty days, I would be a little irritable and vulnerable. Jesus was a human being just like you and me, so temptation from the devil was very real. The devil tried to trap Him, but it didn’t work. Jesus went straight to scripture and quoted, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ Jesus didn’t say we don’t need bread to live, but to live a complete life, we need more than just bread. We need God to fulfill us and to lead us.
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” Luke 4:5-8
The devil then tries to entice him again. He tries to make Jesus think that what he has is much better. Something that is not good for us looks enticing at first, but then once we get what we thought we wanted, it ends in suffering. Jesus knew that what Satan was offering him was no match to what God could provide. Jesus’ response shows us that He was not interested in serving himself through the world, but He desired to worship God and serve Him only. Satan always wants to be first, but it is key to remember to put God first. What are we putting our hope in? Is our hope in Jesus the King of Kings, or the things of this world?
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” Luke 4:9-13
The devil then led Jesus to the highest point of the temple. It is crucial to remember that even during our mountaintop seasons in life, the devil will still try to tempt us. When things are going well, it’s easy for us to put God on the back burner. We tell ourselves (maybe not out loud) but we do in our actions, “Why do I need God? I’m doing just fine on my own.” This is why it’s so important to depend on God in every situation, no matter what! The devil tried to get Jesus to take a step of ‘faith’ and jump off a really high place of the temple. Jesus had to process what the devil was asking Him to do. He had a choice to make. There is no question that Jesus could have thrown himself down off the temple and saved Himself, but He was not interested in showing off the power He had been given by God. Jesus was committed to doing what the Father wanted. I believe this is the best way to process what the wisest choice is to make. We can choose whatever cup of coffee we want to drink, but is that cup in your budget? Are we following Jesus or ourselves? It may not be right or wrong, but what is the wise thing to do?