While we cannot go back in time to go with Jesus, we can go into the Gospels to go with Him and get to know Him better. After showing how Jesus was tried and found to be true, Luke turns us to Jesus' public ministry. In these two verses, Luke gives us an overview of the early days of Jesus' public ministry. We look at the power, the news, the teaching, and the praise of Jesus.
We come to take one last look at the devil's temptation of Jesus in His humanity. In knowing our enemy, we will see what we can learn about the devil in how he tempts us in our humanity. And ultimately in knowing ourselves and our Lord, we will see what we can learn from our Lord to help us in our humanity.
JESUS TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL WITH THE PRIDE OF LIFE: "THROW YOURSELF DOWN FOR THE ANGELS TO LIFT YOU UP" (LUKE 4:9-12)
People are doing things for their own reasons, regarding what they want in life. That is the pride of life. What did Jesus want out of life? Remember, He is the Son of God. Did that truth never, even for an instant, go to His head, especially in being a Man that appeared to be so common among other men? Did He ever think, "Maybe I should do something to really make Myself stand out." That's exactly what the devil hoped He would do.
In the lust of the eyes, we are tempted to do wrong for things we think are right for us. Jesus was not blind to the world. Jesus looked at the world with the eyes of a real man. He processed what He saw with the mind and emotions of a real man. Did His foot never slip - never stumble over what He saw, in the desire to have it? If not, where was His focus as He faced so much He could have had? We will see, as we look at Him face the devil in the devil's temptation to have it all the devil's way.
JESUS TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL WITH THE LUST OF THE FLESH: "TELL THIS STONE TO BECOME BREAD" (LUKE 4:2B-4)
We all have various desires and cravings that require our attention. Jesus was a real Man, not a machine, nor a higher form of human being. He had desires and cravings. He had wants and needs. So, we need to think about how Jesus handled them in living for God, particularly in temptation to sin in satisfying them. We will see as we study this gut-level temptation Jesus faced.
The ongoing struggle with temptation has two challenges: being aware of it and knowing what to do with it. Jesus endured temptation. He faced real temptation. And He prevailed. And His victory means something for you and me, as we will see. Before we get to His specific temptations, though, we need to understand how Jesus was set up to be tested.
In His humanity, Jesus is a son of the first man God created. This message emphasizes what that means for our salvation as fallen descendants of that first man. While His Divine existence transcends time and space, Jesus' human existence is anchored in time and space, in history, as one of us, so that, as one of us, He could save us.
Luke takes us from Jesus as a boy to Jesus as a man. And we come to a point when God made publicly plain that Jesus is no plain man. Many ignore what makes Him being one of us so incredible and encouraging: Who He is to God as one of us. So let's follow along with Luke as he brings that together for us, as we see that, at His baptism, Jesus identified with all the people, and Jesus was identified out of all the people.
How far into people's lives are we willing to take the gospel, and how high of a price are we willing to pay to take the gospel? What expectations does God give with His gospel, for us to understand and express, and at what expense? John the Baptist was all-in, and he went all-out in obeying the call of God for him. As Luke concludes his account of John's public ministry, he sums up with the exhortations of John's preaching and the expense of John's preaching.
To use us, God will expose us with all of our unique abilities, in all of our unique assignments. So, what are we to do with the attention? John the Baptist shows us how to make it all about Christ. As we look at this exchange between John and the people, we are going to think carefully about their expectation and question, and then his answer of the might and right of Christ.
Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”