Luke 4
Luke chapter four is such a fascinating passage of Scripture that books could be and probably have been written examining nothing else.

After reading in James 1 yesterday about our trials and temptations, today we learn of Jesus' temptation. James 1:2 uses the same Greek word for trial that Luke 4:13 translates as temptation. "When the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time." Jesus rebuffed every temptation the devil presented with Scripture. "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!" (Psalm 119:11) Jesus understood that truth. Do we?

James 1 explained how temptation progresses to sin. In James 1:12-15, we are not to say God tempts us. Temptation leads to sin and death because we are lured and enticed by our desires. Jesus is emphatic in His desire to do the Father's will. All three of His responses to the devil's temptation are expressions of His obedience to the word of God. Verse 4 concerning living on bread alone is from Deuteronomy 8:3 which concludes with "but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." Psalm 40:7-8 (NLT) speaking of the Messiah says, "Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart." To not sin against God, our focus must be on our desire. Is my desire for my will or is my desire to do the Father's will? Jesus knew the tempter, how he operates, and how to thwart his efforts. Do we?

Don't you always find it amazing how the demons responded to Jesus? In Luke 4:34, a demon said, "I know who you are—the Holy One of God." Verse 41 tells us the demons were crying "You are the Son of God!" They never questioned His deity. In Luke 4:1-14, instead of "if" you are the Son of God, "since" could also be an appropriate interpretation. Would the devil have tried to tempt anyone else by asking them to turn stones into bread?

After reading Isaiah 61:1 and part of verse 2 from the scroll, Jesus said, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." He was declaring His deity. Isaiah 61 is obviously Messianic. The portion of verse two Jesus did not read adds "and the day of vengeance of our God." He didn't read that because that was not His purpose in coming, but it will be when He comes again.

The people in the synagogue at Nazareth seemed to accept what He said, "And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth." The question "Is not this Joseph's son?" seems innocuous to us but since Jesus knows the heart of man (John 2:25), He responded quickly and adamantly to the question. Using the example of Elijah being sent to the Gentiles to perform miracles instead of meeting the need in Israel, Jesus pointed out the people’s pretense of acceptance of who He was.

Lord Jesus, we want to acknowledge who You are, Emmanuel, God with us. May our acceptance of Your deity not be a pretense but proven by our desire and obedience to do Your will. We know You are the Holy Son of God.