Re:Verse passage – Luke 4:1-13 (day seven)

Jesus loves Deuteronomy.  Every time the devil threw a fast ball at Jesus he hit it out of the park with Deuteronomy.
Temptation 1:  Deuteronomy 8:3
Temptation 2:  Deuteronomy 6:13
Temptation 3:  Deuteronomy 6:16

“It is written…” is a perfect way to respond.  It is written that the devil will lose, Revelation 20:10: “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Jesus loves Deuteronomy, and you should love Deuteronomy.  You should memorize it and treasure it in your heart.  For one, it gives you a chance against temptation, and two, it prepares you for the devil’s curveball.  You noticed in Jesus’s third temptation (Luke 4:10-11) the devil himself uses Scripture to back Jesus off the plate.  Satan knows, abuses, and manipulates Scripture with the best of them.  Be ready!  Just because someone is throwing a Scripture reference at you does not mean they know God.  The only way you overcome the devil’s chin music is to treasure Scripture in your heart by doing something like memorizing Deuteronomy for the opportune time.


Jesus’ death and resurrection carry no weight apart from his righteous life; always faithful, always trusting in the promises of God. Verses like Romans 8:29 make little sense without it,“For those whom God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”

Those 40 days in the dessert without food, facing temptation from the devil, are a microcosm of Jesus’ entire life, for it is not as if these were the only times he faced temptation as a man, much less directly from the devil, or that somehow the rest of his life was a cakewalk. They are also a microcosm of the righteous life that would be given to us so that we could conform to the image of the Son. We have no righteousness of our own apart from the righteous life of Jesus.

Israel was rebellious and faithless for 40 years in the desert; Jesus was faithful and righteous for 40 days (a true picture of His righteousness)! We rejoice in His righteousness for in it we not only are afforded forgiveness(by way of the cross) but also His holiness.


Re:Verse passage – Luke 4:1-13 (day five)  And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

There is striking similarity in the strategy of Satan in the temptation of Jesus and the temptation and fall of man.  Satan calls into question the truthfulness of God in order to create confusion and uncertainty about the nature and character of God.  “Is His Word true?”  At stake in these temptations and responses is the character of God. Can we really believe Him?  Can we really trust Him?  Can we count on Him to keep His promises?  Scripture says “Yes!” ” A thousand times Yes!!”  The temptation was more about the trustworthiness of God than the identity of Jesus.  Jesus models the correct perspective.  Is our faith and trust in God and His Word bigger than our self-image and self-esteem?

Spiritual Highs

Re:Verse passage – Luke 4:1-13 (day four)

Jesus had just returned from His baptism.  A voice from heaven had proclaimed God’s pleasure with Him.  Now, as He returned from the Jordan, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Certainly, this had been a mountain-top experience.  We’ve all had them…experiences that draw us near to God and bring blessings overflowing.

What happens to Jesus next?  Often times, following a mountain-top experience, we face some of the greatest tests of our lives.  Jesus faced a grueling round of temptations that challenged Him to choose any way but God’s to move forward in His ministry.  Spiritual highs can prepare us to face those lows of temptation.  Guard yourself against the wiles of Satan…when you least expect it, he is poised to spring the trap!  We are lulled into carelessness with those feelings of euphoria after being in the presence of God.  Be vigilant…stand strong…Satan prowls about like a hungry lion, seeking those whom he may devour.


Re:Verse reading–Luke 4:1-13  (day three)

“[The devil] left him until an opportune time.”  You know those things that catch your eye, get your goat, tick you off, push your buttons, turn you on? Yeah, Jesus could have listed those things as well. Whenever you finally admit to the Lord how difficult the struggle really is, he responds by saying, “That was my struggle too.” The Bible says he’s sympathetic, not unsympathetic, because our temptations were his temptations. Believe it. This wilderness encounter was only the beginning of what the devil had planned for Jesus. The devil even showed up in his friend Peter’s counsel for crying out loud. To face temptation well, we must learn from Jesus to struggle like he struggled before we can learn to resist sin like Jesus resisted sin. Pay attention.

Empty and Full

Re:Verse reading–Luke 4:1-13  (day two) And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. vs. 2b

Sometimes I think Dr. Luke is the king of understatement. I am sure that Jesus was indeed hungry at the end of the 40 days. What strikes me is the mystery of fasting. Earlier in the verse Luke writes that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit.” No food in his belly, but full to overflowing with the Spirit. On the surface you would think that anyone would be at their weakest and most defenseless at the end of a fast like that. While I am not advocating the neglect of our health, I am struck by the clarity of Jesus’ responses to Satan. It was his hunger that Satan first addresses, but Jesus’ dependence and sustenance were found in God alone.

There is so much to discover about Jesus in this passage. If we empty ourselves of stuff, and fill ourselves with the Spirit of God doesn’t it stand to reason that we, too, we have a clearer picture of the purpose of God is in our lives?

Tempted as we are

Re:Verse reading–Luke 4:1-13 (day one) 

“He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”–Hebrews 4:15.

As a man, our Lord endured all the pressures, disappointments and hardships that characterize the human condition.  Are you tired?  So was He.  Unfairly accused?  Misunderstood?  Him too.

As a human, Christ was also tempted.  Offered false information.  Encouraged toward disobedient choices with disastrous outcomes.

Very subtle.  Nothing cruel or outwardly immoral is suggested.  Small concessions.  Nudged toward a life that is “a reasonable version of God’s will”.

Notice the Savior’s use of Scripture.  Three temptations.  Three thoughtful moments to consider God’s written word.

Here is humanity as it was designed to be!  Here is the perfect man!  In fellowship with God.  Confidence in God’s word.  Obedient heart.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  “For those whom God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His dear Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”–Romans 8:29


Re:Verse reading–Luke 3:1-20  (day seven)

Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ (Luke 3:15)

John the Baptist’s ministry was filled with a unique authority.  He called people a brood of vipers, he told people they were about to be thrown into an unquenchable fire, and he told people, even the politicians, what to do.  He spoke boldly, and people just kept coming, uninvited, they surrounded him pleading for baptism.

John the Baptist’s work was so uniquely holy and powerful that people even started to wonder if he was God.  He was so close to God that people were confused where John the Baptist ended and where God began.

I wonder what that kind of faith and calling would look like today.  Is it possible for us to draw near enough to God by Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit that God unequivocally shines through us?  And just as importantly, can our church be such a place that San Antonians catch a glimpse of heaven every time they walk into our doors?  I pray that many will be confused, not knowing where we end and God begins.


Re:Verse reading–Luke 3:1-20  (day six)

For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Luke 3:8b

Indeed he did! And for that I am eternally grateful! God’s mercy and grace through Jesus cascaded on stones from which new life sprung. Yours and mine! The Gospel message has been pouring over stones from the empty tomb to the ends of the earth. We rejoice! For once we were children of wrath (stones), but now we are called children of God!

For God so loved the world that the sent his only son so that whoever believes in him should not die, but have everlasting life…even stones. Now that’s Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


Re:Verse reading–Luke 3:1-20  (day five) What is an indicator of a repentant and forgiven heart?  What evidence is there for a soul and life that claims to follow Christ and His Word?  It has been the same throughout scripture.  FRUIT.  Look at John the Baptist’s words, “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance“.   In the Old Testament, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Jesus’ teaches later, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit”.

John the Baptist gives a good description (evidence) of what fruit looks like: love and kindness (vs. 11),  honesty and integrity (vs. 13),  respect/regard for authority, and contentment (vs. 14).  Can we point to fruit in our lives of repentance and forgiveness?