Summary: Discover why evil is a problem, the differences between evil and suffering, physical and moral evil.
So I bet you don’t have a problem with this one – temptation. Yeah. Yeah, you’ve got a problem with this one. This one’s worthy of being discussed. And I know you’ve got a problem with it, because I do. All you’ve got to do is ask yourself this question. And it’s – this is the hay maker of all questions.
Are you effective at handling temptation – yes or no? What do you think the answer to that one is? Well how about this? Would you like to be more effective at handling temptation? Yes you would. And so would I.
And I believe that we can figure out how to handle temptation better. And I believe that Jesus gives us the secrets of understanding it. Not only does Jesus model for us what it looks like to handle temptation as he was tempted. But we can understand actually the schemes of Satan, as he attempts to tempt us. And that’s exactly what I want to look at today. Is look at how Satan attacks us in his methodology, so that we can better understand what it means to actually handle temptation.
So we’re going to dive into Luke, Chapter 4 today. So if you get your Bibles, you want to open that up. I’m going to be reading verse 1, through verse 13. And it says this. “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit – returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for 40 days – being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. And the devil said to him, ‘If you are the son of God, command the stone to become bread.'”
“And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'” And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory. For it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you then will worship me, I’ll be yours.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and serve him only.'”
“And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said, ‘If you are the son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you. And on their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is said you shall not put the Lord, your God to the test.’ And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”
Now, I find this interaction to be fascinating for a number of reasons. Number 1, because the devil and Jesus are actually having a conversation. It’s kind of bewildering, right? How real the spiritual realm is in this moment between – in a battle between good and evil.
But we all know this. We know that – number 1 – that Jesus is God, and that he doesn’t have the– A need to send. Because he is a holy God, and we kinda have to ask ourselves, did he have the propensity to actually sin in this moment or not. And that is a bewildering theological question, if you begin to really whittle it down. Because you have to almost come to the conclusion that no he didn’t have the ability to send, because he was God and he was all truth. Yet he lived in human skin and flesh. And so it just – it messes with the head, right?
But I can tell you this about Jesus. Now this is what’s unique about him in this moment. Is that sin doesn’t emanate out of his will, like it does for us. Because we are led away by our own evil desires. So we learn in Galatians 5, and James 1 – that we’re led away by sin that lives in us, Romans 7.
But for Jesus in this moment, sin or temptation is luring him – trying to lure him in, and is coming from outside of him. Kinda like it did for Adam and Eve. In fact, the parallels between this moment, and the moment in Genesis 3 – are quite fascinating. Here we see the second Adam defeating sin trying to attack him from the outside.
And in Genesis 3, we see the first Adam falling victim to sin. And then infecting you and me with sin that now lives inside of us. And of course, we have to live in this body of sin for the rest of our life, until it is completely redeemed at the end of time.