Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 615 · 4 months ago

The Gospel of Luke #14

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Luke 4:1-13

For God's illumination on his word this morning. And now, our God and father, we come to another important part of the service, or your word is read and your word is expounded. Lord, it is an awesome responsibility to stand behind this pulpit and seek to deliver your word to your people and Lord, I asked that you would help me, guide me and all that I say. I pray, Lord, that you would use the words I have prepared during this week to speak to your people comfort edification, strength, exhortation, and I pray, God, that above all, you would illuminate your word to us. This morning, Lord, we are reading a passage that is common, that we know. But Lord, in every time you read your word, you're able to reveal new treasures out of it, and Lord makes us like the wise scribe, who who takes both old and new, and Lord uses it to our own benefit. So, Lord, I pray you'd bless your word to your people, give us understanding and light, and may we see you glorified in it. We asked this in Christ name, Amen, if you would turn in your bibles to the gospel of Luke to follow along with me as I read, beginning with verse one through verse thirteen. Here again, I remind you what I'm reading is God's word. and Jesus followed the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan's and was led by the spirit in the Wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil, and he ate nothing during those days, and when they were ended he was hungry. The Devil said to him, if you're the son of God, command this stone to become bread, and Jesus answered him, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone. And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time 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. If you, then will worship me, it will all be yours. and Jesus answered him, it is written, you shall worship the Lord, your God, and him only shall you serve. And he took him to Jerusalem and Said Him on the pinnacle of the Tempo and said to him, if you're the son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written he will command his angels concerning you to guard you and on their hands they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against the stone. and Jesus answered him. It is said you shall not put the Lord your God to the test. And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. Thus, all in the reading of God's word. Please be seated, because I was preparing the...

...message for this week I found myself in a opposite conditions last week's message. Last week, you remember, I preached out of the genealogy and I was trying to figure out if I could find enough material to preach out of that genealogy. Well, this morning I'm confronted with a different problem. I have way too much material and I decided that, whether than try to preach for an hour and a half or something like that, I would split the message into two, and so I'm actually only going to deal with the very first part of the account that we have this morning and then next week, Lord Willing, I will probably try to go on to the latter part of the temptation narrative. Now, all scripture is profitable for us. We know that, but I find some parts of scripture are more profitable than others. And I find this text particularly profitable in several ways and having several scriptural truths that are important for us to understand. So I'm hoping it will be that way to you as well. And last week we noted in the genealogy. It brought your attention to the fact that it says at the end of that genealogy that Jesus, as as we've traced it back, is the son of Adam, the son of God, which means that the son of Adam, he is man and is the son of God, he is God. And I told you it is important for us to understand the two natures and I gave you several examples of stories in the Bible where the two natures of Christ are clearly seen, but I didn't give you this one, and this one is one of the best, and so we're going to look at that this morning. So we again by looking at the first two verses and the baptism of Jesus. We saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and now in this chapter we see some of the effects of that spirit coming upon our Lord at the baptism. So in verse one Luke gives us two references to the Holy Spirit. He tells us Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit and that Jesus is being led of the Holy Spirit into the Wilderness. The word full indicates a person is being filled completely. In the New Testament, for example, of Jesus, it has said that that he is full of the spirit or that he is full of grace and truth, and on the other hand we read of others who might be full of leprosy or full of deceit or full of all villainy. Here the fullness of the spirit upon our Lord will help him to face the temptations of the enemy in his human nature. And the temptation is one of those accounts. Like we mentioned in the fellowship groups this week, the parable the parable of the sore that is found in all three of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, and all three of the Gospel Writers Position The temptation account after the baptism of Jesus and right before his...

...public ministry. So here we're given two important events that perceive the Public Ministry of the Lord. One positive is baptism and one negative is temptation. Both are important. In his baptism he sees heavens opened and he hears the Voice of his father reassuring him. In the temptation, hell is opened and he hears the voice of the enemy trying to tempt him. Frederick Gorday says the temptation was the last act of his moral education. It gave him an insight into all the ways in which his messianic work could be easily marred. The account of the temptation of Jesus is meant to mirror two things. Number one, of course, the temptation of Adam in the garden and number two as well, the temptation of Israel in the wilderness during the exodus. And if we compare the two temptation accounts of Israel, as well as our lords and later, and I think in the next message I'll talk more about the comparison between Christ and Adam, but we notice that both temptations, that of Israel and Christ, share the number forty and that they are both tempted in regards to hunger and also thirst. And it's interesting to know that in the three replies to the devil that Jesus gives, he gives all three replies are from the Wilderness Account in particular, all three are found in the book of Deuteronomy. Now what we don't know is what wilderness exactly Jesus went into. Now some of the commentators claim to know, and maybe they know more than I do, but we're not exactly sure where it is. Some refer to it to as a wilderness by the dead seed. That's called the gentleman, which means the desolation. And here when Luke says our Lord was lad, he's using a very common Greek word. I'll go. It's just a very simple word and it just means to be led. That's what it is. But what's interesting in comparing the account of Mark, which is a very brief account of the temptation, mark uses a much stronger word. He says the spirit drove Jesus into the Wilderness. In Greek Acabolo, and it comes from two words meaning out and to throw the cast it is a violent word. It is the word that is used of Jesus casting out demons. It is the used word that is used when Jesus talks about those who are cast out into outer darkness. That is the word, a very vivid word. It's not like, Oh yeah, I think maybe I'll go this way. It's no, you will go this way. It's a driving force. And in verse two, Luke gives us the reason why he's led or driven into the Wilderness, and that is to be tempted by the devil. Now this gives us a couple of interesting questions. Number One, if Jesus is God, how...

...could he be tempted? For James says, let no one say when he is tempted and tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one. So, pastor, how can you say that Jesus has tempted if he's God, because God cannot be tempted by evil? And secondly, why would the spirit lead or even drive him? Why? Why that necessity, doesn't the prayer that we will pray together this morning say lead us not into temptation? Well, let me deal with the first question first. I think that probably makes some kind of sense. How is it possible that Jesus, being God, to be tempted, as they said? We talked about Jesus being son of Adam, son of God, and I gave you several instances. But this is important for us to understand why we confess that Jesus is man and God. Let me say in regards to the question, how could Jesus, being God, be tempted? We don't often ask the opposite question would be, how would it be possible that Jesus, being man, wouldn't be tempted? I mean that's the other side of it, right. If he's if he is man, how would it be possible that he couldn't or wouldn't be tempted? He must be. So both can lead to confusion unless we can understand that it all makes sense by the fact that Jesus is God and he is man. I think somebody, I think sometimes we kind of grasp the fact that Jesus humanity in his body, I think. I think it's easy for us to grasp, but I think the harder part, and maybe this isn't true of you, just me, but I think the herder part is to grasp that Jesus is that way in his mind as well, and I think that's the hard part that people have in grappling with it. And we have some verses in Luke already that kind of lead to that. Luke to forty and the child speaking of Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. Luke to fifty two, and Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Like I said, we understand stature, but it seems confusing to US perhaps to think of Jesus increasing in wisdom. But it reminds us of the fact that Jesus took on humanity in both his body and his mind. And so we read in Matthew. But concerning that day and that hour, no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, nor the son, but the father only. That's the verse that's confused many people through the years. But Hebrew says he had to be made like his brothers in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Later, the writer of the Hebrews in...

...four fifteen reminds us we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who, in every respect, has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Well then, why does the spirit drive Jesus into the Wilderness again? James makes that statement. That tells us that no one should say when they are tempted they are tempted by God. But yet doesn't the Bible speak in different places of God tempting people? So when we look at that question people are confused by that. Now some of the later versions have made this a lot clearer than it used to be. But the problem is in both the Hebrew and the Greek the word that has translated temptation can just as easily be translated as test. So if you have a King James version of the Bible this morning and you look at Genesis twenty two one, you'll see that it says it came to pass after those stayings that God did tempt Abraham. And then in almost every other version it says God tested or proved. The S V said God tested, the s V says God proved Abraham not tempted. So although God does not tempt us and will not tempt us, he may indeed lead us into a situation where temptation will present itself, and that can happen. In Second Samuel we read this again. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel and he incited David against them saying go number Israel and Judah. But in the same exact account, in First Chronicle, we read then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. And in these scriptures, as well as the book of Job, we have this situation where we understand that well, although it is Satan who is indeed doing the inside and the temptation, it is God who leads people into these situations where where they have to go through this, and the purpose of God doing this is so we might be proven, so that we might come out, as job says in I shall come out as gold. First, Peter one seven says, the trial of your faith being much more precious than that of gold that perishes. They'll be tried with fire. Might be found on the praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. So we don't have to pray God, please don't tempt me to evil, because he won't. That would be contrary. But we do indeed pray Lord, lead me not into temptation. Let me come back to that. The temptation of Christ is going to come at the hands of the devil. The Word Devil, you may know, is a translation of a Greek word, Diablos, and it is the word that Luke uses throughout the temptation account, with one exception, which is where Jesus a dresses the devil...

...and says get thee behind me, Satan, and there he uses the word Satan and what that word particularly means an adversary. The word Diabolos, however, is not universally used for the devil in scripture, but it's also used of others who are called false accusers, and that is the same word that we have there as well. And of course the enemy is a false accuser and he is a tempter. And it marks very short account of the temptation. The only word he refers to is Satan as the advertary adversary. Let's note the number of days. Forty days he's in the world. There's another one of those important numbers. I told the people at the fellowship groups, if you're ever going to guess the number and ask a question, guests seven and you'll be right se at the time. That's not an accurate number, perhaps, but not nonetheless it's close. But here's another important number, forty. Forty is one of those numbers of tests in the Bible. Forty Years in the wilderness, Forty Days in the Wilderness uh, forty days and forty nights of reigning uh during the time of Noah. We think of Moses fasting for forty days. We think of Elijah. I'm out in forty days, and we think of those days as well. And again, when Moses was in the mountain. We read this an exodus. So he was there with the Lord, Forty Days and Forty Knights. He neither ate bread nor drake water and he wrote on the tablets the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments. And if Elijah says, he arose and ate and dragon went in the strength of that food, Forty Days and forty knights to horror the amount of God. So here we have identical situations with Moses, Elijah and Jesus. Moses the giver of the Law, Elijah the restore of the law, and Jesus, of course, the fulfillment of the law. And with Moses, although we don't know for sure, Jesus Mountain. Both Moses and Elijah were in the same mountain. Now the King James says here, being forty days tempted of the devil, the S V says for forty days being tempted by the devil. I know, I don't know about you, but sometimes I read this account and I think, Oh, you know, he's forty days, he's fast end, he's having a good time and then the end of forty days here comes Satan and that ends everything. But actually the wording of the Gospel writers lead us to believe it was a temptation the entire forty days that he was undergoing, that they were there. Of course we're only given the ones at the end, but it appears he was tempted for that entire time and I will go further than that and say indeed he was tempted for his entire life, from beginning to the cross. The temptation was there, and I'll talk about that more next week. There's something else I want to see an introduction concerning the temptations. None of these things, none of the temptations that Jesus went through that are mentioned for us here. Well,...

...you and I ever go through, or could we ever go through, if Satan came to us and said I want to tempt you to turn these stones into bread, I'd say well, Nice Try, Satan, but I can't even do that. So there's really no temptation here at all. If you showed me all the kingdoms of the world and said I'm going to give me a said, well, you know you won't, because I can't receive those. They're not available to me. So it doesn't work, you know. And and all of those temptations. CAST yourself down from the tempo and no, that that's not a scripture I can take. It's not. It's not my own. And so all of these are not my kind of temptations, but they are all actual temptations to Christ. So let's look at the first one. In versus. Three through four we have what both Matthew and Luke give as the first temptation. Now there's a difference in the second third. Deal with that next week. And although none of us could face the exact temptation as just mentioned, that Jesus met, we can face the underlying temptation. We can all understand if we were forty days without food afterwards we would be hungry. Right. That makes sense to us that that that would be the case. So we can understand that and can understand that we could be tempted. We may not be tempted to turn stones into bread, as Jesus is. But we could be tempted, as Jean Valjean was tempted, to steal bread, couldn't we? That could be something that we might want to do. But because Christ has the power to do what the devil suggests, because he can do that. He can turn stones into bread, he can turn stones into children of Abraham, so of course he can turn stones into bread. So therefore this is a real temptation to him. But then we have to ask the question, well, really, would that be so bad? I mean, come on, he hasn't eaten for forty days. Would that really be a bad thing to make bread so he can eat? And we might wonder, you know, why is that such a terrible thing? I mean, after all, Jesus spends most of his ministry meeting the physical needs of people. I mean he's always doing that. If they're hungry, he's making bread, if they're thirsty, is making wine. He's taking care of them, whatever their needs are. He's always doing that. So why couldn't he do that right now? is is satisfying hunger at the end of a forty day fast any worse than making water into wine at a wedding. But the problem here doesn't concern so much what the actual temptation is. It is a temptation, of course, because Christ is hungry, but the importance here is of Jesus only doing what his father commands him to do in obedience. This is the point Jesus would say in John Twenty nine. And he who sent me is with me, he has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him. and John Jesus said. Truly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of his...

...own accord, but only what he sees the father doing, for whatever the father does, the son does likewise. So for Christ to step out of that and make bread for himself, what his father is not dealing with him to do that, that would be wrong and a sin, and therefore he cannot do it. And in verse four we have the answer of Jesus to the temptation which I said, is found to Deuteronomy, it says in Luke it is written man shall not live by bread alone. Deuteronomy Atri says be humbled you and let your hunger and UH. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with Manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone. And Matthew gives us the entire quotation, which ends with but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. And that temptation is foiled by Christ. Has All of them will be. I'll tell you that. Just you know, left taking for next week. So let's make some applications. The first temptation that Jesus Faces in the Wilderness is a temptation of provision. will his father provide for his needs or not? And although, as I said, we cannot face the exact same temptation in the same way that Jesus faced it, nevertheless we do understand the temptation to doubt God's provision, don't we? We all have that issue. That's a problem we often wonder the Psalm has said in some five I have been young and now I'm old. Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or as children begging for bread. But we still tend to worry about that, don't we? We tend to wonder whether something is going to be provided for us or not. It might be food, it might be rent money, it might be car payment. It might be a hospital visit, it might be a disease, it could be several things, but we won there we question it. Jesus gave us this instruction in a sermon on the Mount in Matthew six. Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you eat or what you drink, nor about your body. What you put on. Is Not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? and which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to a span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the litters of the field, how they grow? They neither toil or spin, but they tell you even Solomon and all his glory, was not a raid like one of these. But if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will we not much more clothed? You or you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the gentile seek after all these things, and your heavenly father knows you need them all, but...

...seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself sufficient, for the day is his own trouble. Wonderful words, but then when the rubber meets the road, and we faced these questions about God's provision, sometimes an ox for comforting and we struggle and we wonder, will God really provide? Let me give you an illustration for my own life. During nine eighty one, I was living in Sacramento, California, Doing Street Ministry and to support myself I worked at an insurance company there and at the time we only had two of our eventual five children, but even so our budget was being stretched to the limit. We mostly lived on hot dogs, which is my my my oldest daughter won't eat hot dogs anymore because kind of ruined that for her, but that's what we lived on. There was a tie one night when I was there. I was in the Church Service for the Sunday evening service and I was sitting in the Pew and I wasn't the pastor of that church, I was just a member of that church and I was having one of those fights with God. You know, I don't if you know what I mean when you have those fights with God, because I had money to put in the offering basket for my ties, but I also needed that same money from my rent money that was due that week. And I'm fighting with God and I'm making good arguments. You know, O Lord, you don't want me to. You know I have to pay our landlord. I mean, come on, you know you tell us that we gotta pay. What to do? We gotta. We gotta be faithful in that. We gotta. And I'm making all the arguments and fighting with God and saying, you know, I'm not gonna do this, I'm not gonna give you the tide. I know what yours. I know the first to belong to you. I know this should be yours. I understand that, but I don't think you'd want me to. So on goes the argument. But guess who wins? So I put my money in the offering plate and say, all right, Lord, I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I'm obeying you've told me to do. So I wondered what am gonna do? Excuse for the landlord? What am I gonna say? What I'M gonna do? And the next day, of course, in the mail. That's how God always asked, and this is used to before computers. Um, so the mail. But we got a letter totally unexpected from our home church. They hadn't supported us at all the ministry and they want us a letter and said we were meeting together as a board and praying and thought we ought to help support you in your ministry. And they sent us a check that covered our real money. And I've learned from that time that I just needed to give to God what's his. And that's been a temptation, to be honest, I haven't really faced again. I faced a lot of other ones, but that's when God brought me through and taught me a lesson that Lord Willie and I still will never forget. But we faced that temptation. Will God provide for us? We'll food be there for my children? Will I be able to afford gas if it gets much higher?...

...and I wonder, you know what, what would I do? What about this medical issue? What about you know the other problem that we're facing within our family. Will Will God provide? And in the temptation of Jesus and the Wilderness, we learned God indeed will provide. There's a poem I came across many years ago. I've used it many times in sermons. You've probably heard it as well. It's by Elizabeth Cheney and it goes like this, said the Robin to the sparrow. I should really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about and worry. So said the sparrow to the Robin. Friend, I think that it must be that they have no heavenly father such as cares for you and me. We need to trust God will indeed care as our heavenly father. He loves US, he'll take care of us, he'll provide. But as we look at our low or and his temptation, it's good for us to also look at our own temptation. It's clear we're never tempted by God, but we can be led into situations where temptation is there, and I think all of us know exactly what that is like. And I said as part of our prayers that God would not lead us into temptation. And one of the problems we have in temptation is we're fighting against an enemy who is much more stronger than we are. He is he is much better armed for the fight that we're going to have. Our Savior Triumph into wilderness. He overcame, but if we trust in our strength alone, we will not overcome. We have to flee to God. It is our only hope. God's word gives us many promises. James, four seven. Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you first, Peter, five, eight and nine. Be Sober minded, be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roory line, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your Brotherhood throughout the world. He was four or fifteen and sixteen, we do not have a high priest who was unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but who, in every respect, has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, then, with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need and the promise we read in our assurance this morning that no temptation has taken us, but God will provide a way of escape. Now, brothers and sisters, we understand God's providence and we understand that sometimes in providence we are led into a situation with very great temptation and we allow us and we understand that God has, in his Providence, allowed us to be there. Now listen, I would guess some of you are thinking to this time. Yeah, you don't know how I mess up. When happens, you don't understand.

I cry out to God, I pray to God, I say God, please, please, don't let this overcome me, but it seems like I'm always falling, always failing. Let me give you a closing example. This morning, in Luke, chapter versus, thirty one and thirty two, our Lord says this to Peter, and I want you to listen carefully to these words. Simon, Simon, behold Satan demanded to have you D D might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail and, when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. I wanted you to listen carefully because I misunderstood the scripture for years. I thought Jesus said, Satan or Peter, Satan has desired to have you, but don't worry, I said no, and so you're gonna be okay. But that's not what he says. And and I also thought that was strange, because he prayed that Peter would not fail. And then I thought, but Peter did fail. He failed three times, the first time to a servant girl, the least threatening person in the face of the earth. He failed three times. But I want you to notice that Jesus doesn't say, I prayed for you and Satan is not going to have you. He is telling Peter Indeed, Satan's going to sift him, he's gonna go into a time of temptation and indeed he's going to struggle. And indeed he doesn't say I prayed for you and you won't fail, but he said instead I prayed for you that your faith doesn't fail. Because you know what, Peter did fail. He did fail and it caused him great shame as he thought about it. And even after the resurrection, it appears that he is struggling in that great confrontation between Jesus and Peter. And John One that I won't go into this morning, but you know it. But I want you to take heart from this, because sometimes the Lord says you're gonna go through a sifting, the enemy is gonna have you and you're not gonna like it very much. But you know what, I prayed for you and you might even fail in sin him, but you know you'll never fail in falling from me, because I hold you and I have you. So do not fear for what you're going through. I'm with you and will strengthen you and even if you fall,...

...you will come out of it better, as Peter did, as he learned his self. Confidence was a terrible thing, and God can help us. Our faith can never fail. John says. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. The psalmist says those who trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abides forever. Can We pray? Lord, we thank you for your word this morning. We thank you indeed, God, that you have given US power and strength and although all of us can look back at times of failure in our life, we know that yet you have kept us and we are here this morning because you have kept us. And Lord, we are yours. Our strength is not sufficient to meet the strength of the enemy, but your strength is. And Lord, help us to learn reliance upon you, because often, when we become convinced of our own reliance, you teach us, as you did Peter, that that does nothing and only fail us. But help us. And Lord, if there are those who have never trusted to you in the Cross and never don't have a recourse, they don't have a refuge to go to, I pray this morning they will know that Jesus Christ is their help. If they will turn to him, turn to the cross, if they will indeed believed that that cross paid the price for all of their sins and confess Christ to be their savior and their Lord, that they will have an anchor and a hold in their times of temptation. But, Lord, may all of us trust only in you, and if there are those who are not, may they do so today and trust in you, I ask, in Christ name. Amen.

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