Read: Luke 4:1-13
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. (NIV Luke 4:1-13)
Study: Each wilderness temptation Jesus faced involved an easier path to being the messiah Israel thought they wanted. “Dazzle them with signs, impress them with your power, meet their material needs,” the tempter whispered. “Why try to change their earthly focus, and face suffering and death?” In what ways are you tempted to follow Jesus only if it’s easy, and doesn’t create any risks? How are you opening yourself to Jesus’ power to grow the fruit of the Spirit in your life, making it better both now and for all eternity?
Prayer: Help me commit myself to this spiritual practice, and like you to build my life squarely on the principles of your word. Amen.