1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of Luke, The Temptation of Jesus, Part II - Lesson 35

 

There is much more to life than food or raiment yet this is about which we spend our lives!
 

Luke 4:1-4,  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2Being forty days tempted of the devil And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.   And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

 

In order to understand this scripture we must always remember that Jesus Christ was doing Godís will, for we are told that he was full of the Holy Ghost and he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

 

Jesus Christ is not quite ready to begin his work in Israel and Godís Holy Spirit leads him into the wilderness where Satan is to test him. 

 

God allowed Satan to test Job and he also allows him to test his only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

We should note that doing a work in the wilderness is not an unusual happening in the life of a Christian.

 

Many times God will test your faith that it might be stronger when you see the hand of the Lord in your life and the working of his word.

 

A wilderness journey is a good thing for it can reveal your belief or unbelief, your trust in God or your lack of trusting and Godís working.

 

God regularly tests your faith for he knows that the trial of your faith will be more precious than gold. 

 

Paul reminded Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3 to endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 

 

(to undergo hardship:óbe afflicted, endure afflictions (hardness), suffer trouble)

 

Perhaps it was this hardship of Jesus Christ that brought this thought to the mind of Paul.

 

For it is in the wilderness that Jesus Christ was to suffer deprivation. 

 

And even though Jesus Christ had just been anointed king of Israel remember that this was Godís will for the Lord Jesus Christ and at times it is Godís will for you to suffer deprivation. 

 

We ought to remember this when we are too soft with our children as we provide living that is too soft for their own good. 

 

As Christians we are to expect times of suffering and deprivation for God uses these in his school of faith.

 

Donít forget that the Bible instructs that it is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 

 

This means that the training to endure hardness comes in handy when the child who has borne the yoke becomes a man.

 

In days gone bye there were plenty of yokes to be borne.

 

Plenty of needs on the farm or in the home. 

 

Things were not so naturally easy for children.

 

But today parents have to work at applying yokes because today things are too easy for children and there are little needs to survival that are not met from the grocery store.

 

But the need for the parent to apply the yoke is still there if the good for the child is to come. 

 

Putting pressure on the child will bear fruit when that child grows up and is called by God to serve.

 

John the Baptist grew up in the wilderness and endured hardness.

 

And it was in the wilderness that God brought Israel to be tested and where Israel tempted God. (Ps. 78:41, 56; 106:14).

 

It is given in our scripture that this testing of Christ in the wilderness was led by the Spirit of God and because of this we know that Jesus Christ was doing Godís will.

 

To do otherwise than to obey God is to not do Godís will. 

 

In our day many believe that you can do Godís will by disobeying Godís word.  Of course this is false.

 

It was Godís will for Jesus Christ to be tested in the wilderness. 

 

He was there to prove his worthiness in being the Lamb of God.

 

The Lord went out to the wilderness to confront Satan and to return victorious.

 

This passage in Luke tells us that even in His testing the Lord Jesus Christ was in control, and not Satan. 

 

Satan had one object in mind, but God always has another.

 

While Satanís work was to undermine the Lordís mission, Godís mission was to have the Son of God come out of the wilderness sinless as the second and last Adam.  

 

Just as Adam brought sin upon the entire race, so the victory of Christ made salvation available to all who are in Him

 

Rom. 5:19,  For as by one manís disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 

Our Lordís hunger in the wilderness was self-imposed for we are told that he fasted for forty days and nights (Matt. 4:2; Luke 4:2).

 

He did this willingly for there were wild beasts to eat and there was locusts and wild honey also to eat as John the Baptist had eaten, but Jesus Christ was led by the Spirit to fast for 40 days.

 

The setting of the event in the wilderness also brings to mind

the wilderness wanderings of the nation Israel.

 

Israel was in the wilderness 40 years, even as our Lord was in the wilderness for 40 days.

 

Israel hungered even as our Lord did.

 

Adam failed his test in the Garden and Israel failed its test in the wilderness and now the Lord Jesus Christ is to be tested but as the Son of God and the Son of Man he will not fail.

 

He will fulfill the will of God where Adam and Israel failed.

 

So Luke is careful to show us in this account that the Son of God, Israelís King, is fit to fulfill His divinely ordained task given of the Father. 

 

He is to show himself as the perfect lamb of God.

 

Luke is careful to show that Jesus Christ passed every test of righteousness and showed to us that Godís declaration that he was well pleased was well placed in Jesus Christ.

 

Luke 4:3-4,  And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

 

Jesus had fasted for 40 days and although we have never fasted 40 days we can imagine that he was famished, starved if you will.

 

He was so famished that if the fast would continue, it would lead to death, unless divine intervention took place.

 

Remember that Jesus Christ was a man and subject to the physical needs of a man.

 

Satanís challenge that Jesus turn stone to bread was one which sought to cause Jesus Christ to intervene on his own behalf using his own power.

 

Remember that power which had just been given Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at his baptism/coronation.

 

As a man it was inevitable that Jesus Christ would die if he continued not eating.

 

Hebrews reminds us of his complete humanity.

 

Hebrews 4:15,   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

Jesus Christ felt every pang and pain of hunger. 

 

His body craved food to meet its natural needs.

 

So Satan saw the most pressing need of hunger and challenged him to meet that pressing need. 

 

Satanís attack comes at the place where you are most vulnerable.

 

He saw where the man Jesus was most weak and pressed him in that weakness. 

 

Satan could not conceive of the Lord Jesus Christ having a need which was essential to continued life, and having the power to satisfy that need, and not using His power to meet the need.

 

Most would agree that using your own power to meet a need so critical to life itself would be mandatory.

 

Satan was appealing to that basic human instinct of self-preservation.

 

Didnít Abraham yield to that human instinct when he went down to Egypt during the famine? 

 

He was simply saving his life and the lives of those in his care wasnít he?

 

So on the surface of the matter, such an offer seems harmless.

 

After all, the natural mind declares, is there anything so wrong with meeting basic human needs?

 

What was the evil, then, which caused Jesus Christ to resist Satanís challenge, and to continue to hunger, even though death might be the result?

 

The answer was to be found in the Word of God itself.

 

Jesus responded to Satan in the words of Deuteronomy: ďMAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY BREAD ONLY Ö Ē (Deut. 8:3; Luke 4:4).

 

He quotes the words from the passage in Deut. 8.

 

We read verses 1-4,  All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. 2And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

 

Jesusí words must be understood in the light of the quotation from Deuteronomy, and from the context in which it was originally spoken.

 

Israel was about to enter into the promised land and God was, through Moses, reminding His people of the basis on which His blessings would be bestowed in the land.

 

There is a parallel here between the experience of Israel in the wilderness and that of the Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness.  

Our Lord knew this best of all, and therefore he deals with His own situation in the light of Godís Word concerning the lessons which Israel should have learned from the experience of their forefathers.