In the continuing series of messages from the book of Luke, we’ve reached the temptation of our Savior by the tempter. This encounter holds the key to overcoming temptations and successfully passing tests in our own lives. The key? Knowing and using God’s Word.
Check out the passage in Luke 4:1-13. It’s pretty interesting to note that the Holy Ghost led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted.
Most of the time, we think temptation is something to be avoided. The thing is, facing temptations and overcoming them grows our faith and gives us a testimony. After Satan tried his best to tempt Jesus, our Lord returned to Galilee and began his ministry “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).
It’s also important to see that the enemy didn’t attack Jesus when he was strong. Nope. He waited until the Lord had fasted forty days and was weak and hungry. He’ll do the same with us.
The key to Jesus defeating Satan didn’t have to do with his deity. This was the major point Bro. Harlan emphasized during his sermon. You can listen to it here.
In his deity, Jesus could have commanded Satan to go to the pit and stay there for the next three years so he wouldn’t be around to interfere with Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Jesus faced Satan in his humanity because everything he did while living on earth is recorded to teach us. His life shows us how to live in a way that will please God. It pleases our Heavenly Father quite well when we face Satan’s temptations and overcome them.
How did Jesus do it?
In each case, Jesus answered Satan with scripture.
It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of GodLuke 4:4
That’s right. When Satan told Jesus to turn rocks into bread, Jesus quoted scripture. Then did the same when tempted with power (Luke 4:8) and to prove that God would protect him (Luke 4:12).
However, in order to use God’s Word to overcome temptation, we need to know it. Like every Jewish boy of his time, Jesus memorized the first five books of the law by the time he was twelve.
These days, we can carry the Bible on our smart phones so we might not need to memorize all of it. But we need to be familiar enough with the Word that we can find the appropriate passage to contradict the devil’s lies with God’s truth.
Notice that he misquoted scripture in his third test (Luke 4:10-11). You can bet that he knows what the Bible says and has plenty of practice twisting it to get believers off track.
I don’t know what trial, test, or temptation you’re facing today, but Jesus hasn’t left you at the mercy of the enemy. He promises that with every temptation, he will make a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Jesus left the key to overcoming temptation. It’s scripture. Do you know your Bible well enough to use it to ward off the lies of the enemy?