Morning Bible Study
Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.
He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.
In writing his book, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel
of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.
We’ve made our way through the birth of Jesus, and the ministry of John the
Baptist. When Jesus was baptized, God
spoke up and said,
(Luke 3:22b NKJV) “You are My
beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
4:1-4 First Temptation
:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
:2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate
nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
:1 into the wilderness
The word for “wilderness” means literally “desert”.
When you leave the area of the Jordan, everything for miles around is
:1 being filled … led by the Spirit
The Spirit and Temptation
Just because you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean you won’t
struggle with temptation.
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit even led Him into the wilderness where He would be tempted.
I’ve seen it over the years with men and women who have been the filling of
the Holy Spirit. It comes as such a surprise
when they find themselves being tempted and falling into sin.
The Holy Spirit is not some magic genie that will take away your sin
nature’s ability to experience temptation.
Did you notice that the fellow’s wish to get rid of his
spare tire was actually going to be met, but it was through exercise, not by
the genie snapping her fingers?
That’s actually a lot like how the Spirit works.
He may not magically snap His fingers. He may actually want you to do some of the
work when it comes to temptation.
NKJV) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill
the lust of the flesh.
Your “walk” in life is the direction you are heading.
Walking involves taking a series of steps.
That’s like the choices you make in life. Each time you
make a choice, you are taking a “step”.
The “trick” to not giving in to temptation of “fulfilling
the lust of the flesh” is to make your choices, your decisions, in the sphere
and power of the Spirit.
:2 He was hungry
They say that when you fast, you are hungry for the first three days or
so. Then your body goes into a state
where it doesn’t feel hungry for a long time.
It’s around the forty day mark that you again start to feel hungry, and
that’s the warning sign that you need to stop fasting or you might die.
It’s at this point that these next temptations take place.
Tempted when weak
Not every temptation comes when you’re weak, but when you are weak you need
to pay attention.
It might be when you haven’t eaten and you’re hungry.
It could be after an especially hard day and you’re just dead tired.
It might be after an emotionally draining argument with someone.
It might be because you feel you are being “deprived” from something you
Paul talked about how Satan can use a married couple’s
sexual needs to bring in temptation.
Corinthians 7:5 NKJV) Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you
may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that
Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Does this mean that when you are hungry, tired, drained, or deprived, that
you are justified when you give in to temptation?
One of the purposes of “fasting” is to show you that you
can be “hungry”, and draw near to God instead of giving in to temptation.
When you are weak, you need to be on your toes and be prepared to face the
potential for temptation.
:3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this
stone to become bread.”
:3 command this stone … bread
The land of Israel has a lot of stones.
A lot of those stones are about the same color as bread.
Now Satan is challenging Jesus to speak to the stone and command it to turn
Could Jesus do that?
Of course He could.
He is the Son of God.
The question is, should He?
Should He use His own power and abilities to satisfy some
Should we use our own power or abilities just to satisfy
our own temptations of the flesh?
:4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
:4 Man shall not live by bread alone
Man does need food to live, but that’s not the only thing man needs.
People who live their lives solely on the plane of the physical are not
The Word and Life
What is going to be the priority in my life?
Am I going to live life on the level of an animal that lives solely to meet
its physical needs?
Is my life going to be about what and when my next meal is going to be?
Is my life going to be about when I can get to bed and sleep?
Is my life going to be about when I’m going to have sex next?
Is my life going to be about finding that emotional support I am desperate
Or will there be a higher tugging on my heart and mind?
Will I learn to let God’s Word be the thing that guides me in the choices I
Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy.
NKJV) —2 And you shall remember that the Lord
your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you
and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would
keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna
which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know
that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
All through the wilderness, God was “testing” Israel to
find out if they were going to be faithful to keep God’s commandments, His
Even when God fed them with manna, God gave certain
guidelines to “test” the people to see if they would learn to follow God’s directions.
God was teaching the people that they needed more than
just bread to exist, they needed to learn to follow God’s directions in order
Jesus displayed His own dependence on God’s Word when He answers each
temptation with Scripture.
He says “it is written” and then quotes the Scripture.
It’s His “tool”, His “weapon” in dealing with temptation.
The Rifleman’s Creed is a part of being a Marine.
Video: Rifleman’s Creed
God’s Word is like our “rifle”. We must master it. We are useless without it. We need to aim correctly at the enemy,
Satan. We need to use God’s Word to hit
the target, not just shoot wildly in the air.
The writer or Hebrews says,
(Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and
marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Sometimes life is pretty confusing and it’s hard to know what
we are supposed to do. It’s hard to
understand our own motives when it comes to our actions.
God’s Word is able to help us make the right decisions if
we will learn it and do it.
4:5-8 Second Temptation
:5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the
kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
:6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and
their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to
whomever I wish.
:6 for this has been delivered to me
Satan is the “ruler of this world” (John 12:30-33)
He gained that authority when Adam sinned in the garden.
:6 I give it to whomever I wish
There will be a day when Satan will give this authority to another who will
worship him – the antichrist.
NKJV) Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the
feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him
his power, his throne, and great authority.
:7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
:8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is
written, ‘You shall worship the Lord
your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
:7 all will be Yours
Who doesn’t like shortcuts? I love
shortcuts. Anything to save a few
minutes. How about this for you chefs
David had the chance to take a shortcut.
God had already told David that he would one day be king.
Yet until that time, he had to serve wicked, grumpy King
There came a day when David had the chance to kill King
Saul and take his place (1Sam. 24:4-7), but David would not take things into
his own hands.
Eventually God took care of King Saul, and David did
Absalom also had a chance to take a shortcut, and he took it.
He was David’s son.
As David got older, Absalom felt it was time that he became king.
He turned the people against David and ran David out of town. (2Sam. 15)
During the civil war that followed, Absalom died in battle, and David
The problem with shortcuts is that some things in life don’t work when you
take the shortcut.
Satan is promising to give Jesus authority over all the nations of the
world in exchange for worshipping him.
To be honest, Jesus was already destined to become “king of the world”.
60:3 NKJV) The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to
the brightness of your rising.
All Satan is asking Jesus to do is take a little shortcut.
If He worships him now, Jesus can become king immediately.
The problem is that God had another plan in mind for Jesus.
God’s plan involved the cross.
God’s plan involved Jesus dying to pay for the sins of the world.
Yet after Jesus rose from the dead…
2:9–11 NKJV) –9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name
which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in
heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father.
What if Jesus had taken the shortcut?
He still would have been king of the world, yet we would have still
remained in our sin.
We would have ended up in hell.
With some things in life, there are no shortcuts.
If you want to be more spiritual, you have to learn spiritual discipline.
You have to learn to read your Bible every day.
You have to learn how to pray every day.
You have to learn to submit yourself to God every day.
4:9-13 Third Temptation
:9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, 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 shall give His angels charge over you, To
:11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your
foot against a stone.’ ”
:9 the pinnacle of the temple
It could have been the southeast corner of the wall overlooking the Kidron
Valley, or perhaps it was the southwest corner of the wall at the “place of
trumpeting”, which would have been seen by many more people if Jesus had jumped
:10 For it is written
Notice that Satan has now taken to quoting Scripture.
He is quoting from Psalm 91:11-12
Scripture can be misused to confuse and misdirect God’s people.
Just because someone is quoting the Bible to you doesn’t make them right.
We’ve seen on Thursday night in the book of Job that Job’s friends have
very good things to say. Some of the
things they say will be quoted in other parts of the Bible. The problem is, even though there is truth in
them, the truth they quote doesn’t apply to Job.
:12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall
not tempt the Lord your
:12 You shall not tempt the Lord
Jesus isn’t quoting this because He’s saying that Satan shouldn’t be
tempting Him, but that Jesus shouldn’t be tempting the Father.
Some of us have grown quite good at manipulating others.
Sometimes we try to manipulate by throwing a tantrum, like a kid in a
Video: Wonderful Halos – Store Tantrum
or what kids might do at home
Halos – Little Pony
Well that might be more classified as
Sometimes we try to manipulate with passive/aggressive behavior, leaving
“hints” but never really outright confronting others.
Video: Passive Aggression – Office
Sometimes we try to manipulate by pretending to be all loving, like how a
cat gets you to do something for it, but when you’re gone, how does your cat
treat your house?
Video: What your cat does when
you’re not home
The truth is that when we manipulate others, we don’t
really care about them, we care mostly about ourselves.
Sometimes we carry these same behaviors in our relationship with God.
If we were to be totally honest, we probably don’t care for what God wants
as much as what we want.
The Scripture Jesus quotes comes from
NKJV) “You shall not tempt the Lord
your God as you tempted Him in Massah.
“Massah” was an incident in the wilderness where the
people were running out of water and they were complaining and pushing Moses
about it to the point where Moses felt his life was in danger.
God commanded Moses to take his rod and strike the Rock
and water came out to satisfy their thirst.
17:7 NKJV) So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of
the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
The Psalmist writes,
95:8–9 NKJV) —8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in
the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.
The point is that the people knew full well that God was
with them. They had seen His hand in the
plagues in Egypt. They had seen God part
the Red Sea. They saw the army of
Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea. They
have eaten the miraculous manna provided by God for them in the wilderness.
And now they question that God is with them?
It’s just like the ways we manipulate others, sometimes
saying, “Well you don’t really love me…”
Do you realize that God loves you?
Do you need for God to prove He loves you?
If you would take some time studying what Jesus did for
you on the cross, you would realize that God has already proven He loves you.
John 3:16a NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
So what do I do when I have a need or a problem?
You simply ask the God who loves you.
And you ask God to answer your request however He sees is
You trust Him to do what’s right.
But you don’t need to question His love.
:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him
until an opportune time.
:13 every temptation
Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted.
NKJV) —15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet
without sin. 16 Let us
therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find
grace to help in time of need.
Joseph Mallord Turner (b.1775), English painter, invited Charles Kingsley
to his studio to see a picture of a storm at sea. In rapt admiration, Kingsley exclaimed, “It’s
wonderful! It’s so realistic! How did you do it?”
The artist replied, “I went to the coast of Holland and engaged a fisherman
to take me out to sea in the next storm. Entering his boat as a storm was
brewing, I asked him to bind me to the mast.
Then he steered his boat into the teeth of the storm.
“The storm raged with such fury that at times I longed to be in the bottom
of the boat where the waves would blow over me.
I could not, however. I was bound
to the mast. Not only did I see the
storm in its raging fury, I felt it! It blew into me, as it were, until I
became a part of it. After this terrible
ordeal, I returned to my studio and painted the picture.”
Jesus has been there and done that.
There may be times when you are tempted to think that nobody around you
understands what you’re going through.
There is one who understands.
Because He understands, He knows how to help
(Hebrews 2:18 NKJV)
in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are