#913. Luke 4. review - Jesus begins His ministry (5/10/23)
This week, in our devotionals, we are revisiting certain aspects of the Gospel of Luke as we prepare to resume this series. Today, we will review some of the key insights we have gained from Luke Chapter 4.
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Jesus is tempted in the wilderness
Jesus even though He was full of the Spirit and was walking in perfect obedience was ‘led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.’
‘Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 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. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’’ (Luke 4:1-3)
Jesus was tempted to turn stones to bread
‘“If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.”’ (Mark 4:3-4)
Temptation to false worship
‘The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ (Luke 4:5-8)
Satan was offering the same as he offered to Adam and Eve - the lie that worshipping him would lead to true life. He was offering a crown but without the cross.
Temptation to put God to the test
‘‘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. For it is written: ‘ “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus answered, ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ (Luke 4:9-12)
Jesus was tempted to test God. By test we mean being tempted to only believe God and His word if He will do something for us to prove it.
The war is won but battles continue
Jesus’ testing in the wilderness is used by Luke to teach us that unlike Adam and Israel, Jesus the second Adam and perfect Israel has won the victory over Satan and will bring Him to an end even if, in this era, the devil is still battling again Jesus and against His church.
‘When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.’ (Luke 4:13-15)
In response, what are some of the things that God wants us to learn from this chapter? Here are 3 ideas:
i. Jesus' temptation in the desert reveals the spiritual battle we are in and that we are to use the Word of God to defend ourselves against and attack dark powers. Let's know and use the Word like a shield and sword.
ii. We must resist the temptation to believe that we can live on bread alone rather than on God's Word. ‘Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’’ (Matthew 4:4) Like Jesus, let's not live on bread alone but on every word from God. Let's learn to live on the promises of God's Word with as much devotion as we give to eating food for our physical strength.
iii. We must resist the temptation to give false worship for a fake victory. Like Jesus, we will be tempted to give worth to things over our worship of God. Satan tempts us to 'bow down' to our work, family, the government, popularity, comfort, sport... Let's learn from Jesus' response and worship God only, putting Him first in all things, even if this is costly.
Finally, I encourage you to read Luke chapter 4 and pray about the aspects that the Spirit brings to your attention.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY -SIV WEEK
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Let's use the icebreaker that we talked about in our vision series: How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together - This week is 'SIV' Week.
Last Sunday, it was a joy to have a child dedication and a number of baptisms. It was also very encouraging to have so many guests amongst us to celebrate and hear the gospel. I hope we can see that this Sunday was a snapshot of what every Sunday could be like if we all got serious about SIV and praying about it.
Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus. As we begin, and sorry if this is a bit repetitive, let's ensure that we understand what our SIV strategy is.
SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them, demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes and hospitality, to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel.
Discussion and prayer
As we look to restart our Luke series this coming Sunday, please read Luke 1:76-79.
How are we to continue the ministry of John the Baptist?
What does this text teach about our message and the source of our confidence?
Do you have any encouraging stories of how you've been serving, investing and inviting?
Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the places and people that God has given to you? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable?
Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Lets pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, invest and invite.