Luke 4:1-13 (ESV)
1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 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. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” 9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Jesus was filled with and led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, where he faced Satan himself. Luke emphasizes the Holy Spirit twice in the same sentence. Clearly, this trial wasn’t a result of any defect in Jesus, but it was God who desired him to take this route. Jesus came to live the perfect human life, enduring and withstanding all temptations to sin and undoing the spiritual mess our forefather Adam created for the human race. Jesus was weak, having fasted from food for forty days, and it was an opportune time for the enemy to try to break him. Satan tempted Jesus in three ways. The first seemed to fit the circumstance well. Jesus was tired and hungry, and Satan tempted him to create his own bread from rock. Instead of supernaturally providing for himself, Jesus trusted in God’s ability to bring food. He quoted Deuteronomy, saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” Then Satan tempted Jesus to worship him. If Jesus agreed, Satan would give him the entire world. Again, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.” Finally, Satan tempted Jesus to test God’s ability to protect him. It’s like Satan said, “Prove it! Let’s see if God will take care of you!” Jesus quoted Deuteronomy again, saying, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” In all three instances, Jesus stood on the authority of recorded Scripture.
Jesus resisted the natural wish to do things his way and chose God’s way instead. He resisted Satan, and Satan left for a time. Satan declared to Jesus that all the kingdoms of the world had been given over to him, and he had the authority to give them to whomever he chose. This world is under the realm of Satan. In fact, Peter stated that Satan walks around like a lion looking for someone to devour. Satan wasn’t able to overcome Jesus, but he would love to destroy those who follow the Lord. He wants us to fall so that the testimony of Christ will be marred. He knows exactly where your weaknesses lie and will go straight to the area of vulnerability in your life. Like Jesus, when you are tempted, stand on the authority of Scripture. Just say “no” to the devil, and he will leave you, for a time.