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Summary: Temptation is not a bad thing until you fall www.preaching.co.nr

Luke 22:39-46

Jesus was aware that Satan had already entered the heart of the one who would betray Him.

Jesus was aware that within the hour He would be treated like a common criminal.

Jesus was aware that the Cross and Calvary were just around the corner. (John 18:2)

When we are aware of any pending danger the natural and sensible response is avoidance.

Luke highlights the fact that Jesus, aware of the pending danger, went to the “usual place.” Judas and His captors would have known exactly when and where to find Jesus.

Jesus could so easily have gone to a different location, avoiding the danger of His betrayer, captors and the Cross.

Jesus’ walk to the His usual place of prayer this day is an example of His ultra, radical, selfless obedience to the will of His Father. (Luke 22:42)

Jesus’ obedience was motivated by the “joy that was set before Him.” That joy was the completion of all that His Father had sent Him to do. (Heb 12:1-3)

Jesus’ ultra, radical, selfless obedience was not legalism, it was sacrificial love for you and I. (John 15:13; 1John 3:16)

As the Disciples walked behind Jesus to His usual place of prayer, it seemed to be dawning on them that this could be their last moments with Him. Luke tells us that the Disciples were exhausted with sorrow. (Luke 22:44)

Jesus took John, Peter & James a little further on to pray. (Matt 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42)

Jesus returned three times to find them asleep; the legalistic, judgemental Christians give the Disciples a hard time here, calling them lazy.

Ten minutes in loving prayer with Jesus are worth more than a legalistic hour in prayer that is stirred by imposed guilt.

Jesus, on the other hand, was concerned for them. Many translations of Mark 14:41 quote this verse as Jesus telling the Disciples to “sleep on and rest.” Jesus’ question, “Could you not pray one hour?” was not a ticking off, it was His concern that the disciples hadn’t grasped the urgency of what was in store for them.

His repeated counsel to the disciples in these moments of pending danger was “Pray you do not fall into temptation.”

Temptation is not a bad thing

Temptation is not a bad thing; in fact it is a good thing because, like Jesus, we learn obedience through it. (Hebrews 5:7-9)

If it were not for temptation we would never know victory over sin and Satan. (1John 5:4)

The pending danger we all face, the consequence of falling into temptation, is spiritual death.

A big question: are you spiritually alive or spiritually dead? How can you tell? If you are hungry and thirsty for God then you are alive, if not then you’re dead.

What’s your temptation?

What tempts you may not tempt me. What tempts you may not be what we think of as massive, major sins like adultery, killing, robbery or idolatry. Sin is anything that entangles your life and walk with the Lord to the point of dishonouring and displeasing Him. (Hebrews 12:1)

Four reasons why Christians fall into temptation

Sometimes the reason given is, “The Devil made me do it!” This is a lie; Satan can’t make you do anything but we choose to say “yes” or “no.”

1. Culture of Compromise. Often this is the majority making allowance for the minority and in some cases, when the truth of God’s word is not diminished, compromise is a good thing. Commitment to the Word, Will and Ways of God are often challenged with, “Everything in moderation,” a phrase that is not in the Bible. Murder and adultery in moderation are not ok. Compromise cannot be allowed to replace commitment.


who cannot be bought;

whose word is their bond;

who put character above wealth;

who possess opinions and a will;

who are larger than their vocations;

who do not hesitate to take chances;

who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;

who will be as honest in small things as in great things;

who will make no compromise with wrong;

whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;

who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it";

who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;

who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hard-headedness are the best qualities for winning success;

who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;

who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes."

(Charles Swindoll. Living Above the Level of Mediocrity. pp.107-8.

2. Comfort in Crisis. All the disciples went back to the way life was before Jesus.

Crisis and change challenge our sense of security and so we look for what makes us feel comfortable.

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