Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 617 · 3 months ago

The Gospel of Luke #15 (Lk 4:1-13)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Luke 4:1-13

The Gospel of Luke again this morning, the exact same text that I read from last week. Luke Chapter Four. Will be reading the first thirteen verses here. God's Word and Jesus, full of 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 are the son of God, command a stone to become bread, and Jesus answered him it has written man shall not live by bread alone. And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdom, to 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 will give it to whom I will. If you then will worship me, it will be yours. and Jesus answered him. It is written. You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him only you shall serve. And he took him to Jerus slum and set him on a pinnacle of the Temple and said to him, if you are the son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written he will command as angels concerning you to guard you, and on their hands they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against a 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 ends the reading of God's word. You may be seated. We looked at the beginning of the temptation of Jesus last week and we looked at some inductor introductory materials and then we looked at the first temptation and that was to make bread out of a stone. And I told you there was too much material there to do it in one message. I need to do it and too. But as I was preparing the message this morning I found that there still was too much material. But I wasn't going to go and in this another another week. So I just had to pare down...

...a few pages out of the message and I got it down to which I think is a manageable size. Uh this morning, but you'll be the better judge of that. One of the things we noticed last week is that in looking at the two natures of Christ, Christ has man, had to be tempted because he was a man and he was a human, but Christ, as God, could not sin. And so we have one of those mysteries that is solved by the two natures, even though we do not fully comprehend that mystery. But nonetheless we understand that he had to undergo temptation but also that it would be impossible for him to fail in that temptation. So I want to begin with versus five through eight this morning. Now, you may know this or maybe not, but Matthew and Luke transpose these two temptations. So what is the second temptation in Matthew becomes the third in Luke. And what become what is the second in Luke becomes the third in Matthew. And so in Luke the second temptation is where Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says they would be his if he would worship him. But in Matthew the second temptation is that Christ would cast himself down off the pinnacle of the Temple, which of course, is the third temptation in Luke. Now we don't take from that that there's contradictions in the Bible at all. That doesn't mean that, no matter what, the gospel writers are telling US The story of Christ in a way that suits them and that really is rarely chronological. There is some kind of chronology to the Gospels, that's certain, but they are none of the writers are concerned to give us the order of everything in exact sequence. That isn't what they're doing. And when we look at Matthew and Luke, it seems clear from Reading Matthew that Matthew's giving us the chronological order where Luke is not. And the reason we know that is because Matthew uses time marker were words, words like then afterwards. And so...

...we see that matthew is giving us a sequence where Luke simply says and and and and, and that's all he's doing here. And so he can note in these verses, in nine of the eleven verses from three through thirteen, the verse begins with the Word and might not in your Bible, but, but, but it should. But Anyway, Matthew again uses those other words. So Lucas saying, Um, I want to I want to emphasize something here. I'm gonna tell it in this way, John MacArthur says, has he often did with the material in his Gospel. Luke arranged the temptations thematically rather than chronologically. So in verse five we're told what happens in the temptation, but it isn't exactly clear to us how it happens. We're not sure. Says the devil takes Jesus up to a high place and shows him all the kingdoms of the world. Now, how does that happen? The Satan U UH somehow take on a human form and end up there in the wilderness with Jesus and walks with him up a high mountain? Is that whether it takes place or or is this a vision of some kind that Satan is showing to our Lord? Well, we don't have to answer that question definitely today, but the fact that it says in a moment of time he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world it seems to indicate that it was in a vision. I found it interesting here what Calvin says. He says it is asked was he actually carried to the elevated spot or was it done in a vision? There is no absurdity in supposing that this took place by the permission of God and the voluntary subjection of Christ, provided we hold it within that is, in his mind and souls, he suffered no delusion. What is next? Added that all the kingdoms of the world were placed in the view of Christ, as well as what Luke relates, that he was carried to a great distance in one moment. Agrees better with the idea of a vision...

...than with any other supposition. In a matter that is doubtful and where ignorance brings no risk, I choose rather to suspend my judgment than to furnish contentious people with an occasion of debate. Sometimes Kelvin is just so humorous the way he does it, and here he shows a rare moment of diplomacy. Is is his writings are not always the most diplomatic, is some of you might know if you read Kelvin. But I found that kind of a humorous quote. So anyway. But both these, e q and John, also were carried away to a high mountain, apparently in a vision that seems infected. In at least one case it has said it happens in a vision. So it seems like perhaps that is the right way to go. But the greater question that has asked here on this temptation is does Satan have the power to deliver what he's tempting Jesus to in other words, Ken't Satan, if Jesus were to worship him, would he really be able to give Christ all of the Kingdoms of the world? Of that's a debating question and the various commentaries that I read in preparation for this sermon I found authors on both sides of this question. There are scriptures that seem to indicate he does indeed have that power. Ephesians two TWOS, that calls the Prince of the power of the air. Later in six twelve and Ephesians Paul says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over the present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil and heavenly places. And Second Corinthians for four, Paul Calls Satan the God of this world. Jesus even refers to him that way in John Twelve thirty one, where he says now is the judgment of this world. Now with the ruler of this world be cast out. And so we also have John at first, John Nineteen. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. But aren't all the kingdoms of the world ultimately in God's hands? Aren't they really up to God to the suppose of as he would see fit? Some would say the devil...

...had the power during the time of the temptation to do this, but after the Christ's death and resurrection they were delivered to him, and they would quote Collossians to fifteen. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in him. Others would ask the question, well, if if Satan couldn't deliver and Jesus knew that, what kind of a temptation is that? It's like well, well, I'm not gonna do that because you don't have any power to do that anyway. Um, so those are the questions. I I kind of personally, and this is not inspired, but I hold the decide that I think Satan did have this power, at least at this time. But if you want to hold the other side, you certainly welcome to do that. But let's move on to the answer. First Aid. It says it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. Now those words aren't precise be found anywhere in the Old Testament where Jesus is quoting. It has been noted, however, that the closest scripture is probably Deuteronomy six thirteen. It is the Lord Your God, you shall fear Him, you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. And so, although it's not an identical word for word quotation from the Scriptures, it is certainly the intent of that scripture as Jesus is giving it, especially when we add the next verse. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the People's who are around you. And really it's also a perfect summation of the entire Old Testament. That happens again and again. You should worship me and not these other gods, although Israel continued to do that, and Jesus is proclaiming he will only worship God. Well, we move on to the third temptation and verses again. This would be the second one in Matthew and the devil begins with the same words that started in the first temptation. If you are the son...

...of God, and we find the same questions here that we find in the last temptation is all of this in a vision that Satan is is doing this as well. Are they going? Are they actually physically going up to the pinnacle of the Temple and the Satan put Jesus there? And we're not even sure where this particular place is. Some have suggested that it might have been on the edge of what was called Herod's Portico that overhung the Kedron Valley, where you could look down four hundred and fifty feet. Joseph has called it a dizzy height to be that high. There's a tradition Um that is given in Eusebius and in other places, that James, the brother of Jesus, was actually thrown down from that particular spot or spot like that, to his death. But again, we don't have to know. We don't have to know exactly where it takes place. But there's a couple of interesting things we do want to note. Up until this time we've noticed Jesus has met the temptation of Jesus by quoting scripture. So now it seems that Satan says, well, you've been quoting scripture, so why don't I quote a scripture Um origin said the devil, like heretics, is quick to quote scripture, and if you've ever dealt with people in cults, you know they're very quick to to quote scripture, but they only know a few they don't know, and if you bring any other scriptures into the equation, they're very confused. But they still love to quote scripture. And the devil quotes out of Psalm Ninety, one very familiar song, one of the most familiar psalms, I would guess, of people. And he quotes versus eleven and twelve, for he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands, they will bear you up unless you strike your foot against a stone. Now I am quoting the words out of the SAS, and you...

...might notice, but wait a minute, that's not exactly what he quoted, and it isn't now. I told you that Jesus didn't quote exactly the words out of Deuteronomy, and that's also gonna happen later Um and we might say so. Is that a big point? And there are those who think this is a big point and those that do not think it's a big point. Again, I lie on the side. I think it is a big point. I think it's important that the PSALMIS says he will guard you in all your ways. That's what Satan leaves out, because in the psalms from the very beginning we are taught that the godly walk in a particular way. Remember that in Psalm one we're told you know that he does not stand in the way of sinners, because if you stand in the way of sinners, I'll tell you, you'll get run over. So you don't want to do that. But again, it begins with the ways, which is often called the two ways, that go throughout the psalms and proverbs and other places in this scripture and and deal with that. So by saying this, by leaving that out, it's like saying I don't want you to think about you know that, that he wouldn't guard you if you're not walking in the way that God has commanded. So I'M gonna leave that part out and I think that is uh specifically left out. I mentioned in the one. I think it was the UH. I just get confused in my directions. Northwest Fellowship group Um that years ago there was a little Christian humorous magazine that was out there. Pre dates most of you. Nobody probably heard of it's called the Wittenberg door. But they ran a contest for a while about what they thought were the worst lines in any him and I don't remember if this one one or not, but but it was up towards the top and it was my sin. Oh the bliss of this glorious thought. Now, if you take that line by itself, it's it's a pretty bad line, but if you go to the next line it all makes sense and it comes together. So again it is important for us to come through the entire passes of scripture. But there...

...is a great temptation, you know, when when people um come against us and say, Oh, that's not true. Immediately, what do we want to do? Oh, I'm going to prove to you it's true. I'm gonna tell you it's true. You you can't doubt my word. You can't. You can't doubt what I'm saying here. And so of course there is a great Satan says, if you are the son of God, and and and Jesus be could have said, if I'm the son of God, I'll show you what the son of God I am, and I'll but but he doesn't do that. William Hendrickson says he realizes that for him to do what Satan is urging upon him would amount to substituting presumption for faith, effrontery for submission to God's guidance. G Campbell Morgan says the moment we do something to prove God, we are proving we are not sure of God. That that was very interesting. Calvin again says we cannot rely on his promises without obeying his commandments. And so once again our Lord quotes from Deuteronomy and he says from Verse Twelve it has written you shall not put the Lord your God to the test, which is quoted from Deuteronomy six sixteen. Not to be fair, he leaves out the end of that verse two, but it wasn't really part of the message. It simply says the end of it in Deuteronomy says as you tested him at Massa. So it's not it doesn't really change anything what he's saying. In that case. Those words are just telling about a particular instance. And in verse thirteen we read when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. However much Jesus had been tempted in those forty days. And again the Gospel Writers need to indicate he had been tempted throughout the forty days, not just at the end, but however much the tempt patient at this point ends. Calvin says. His...

...phrase of Luke means that no truce or relaxation was granted to Christ until he had been fully tried by every species of content. And the devil, probably angry and upset that he had not been able to tempt Christ to any sin, leaves him and depart until an opportune time. So let me make some applications this morning and again we remember the Christ was truly tempted. Yes, has God, he could not sin, but again he still felt the force of these temptations. Was He tempted constantly? In his human nature, he endured temptations greater than any of us have ever endured, and I'm going to talk about one in particular in a moment. All of those temptations, it's as great as they were. Did he ever fail? No, not once. Never. Leonard Coppiss puts it this way. From one perspective. As a man, Jesus, like Adam before the fall, was capable of sinning and subject to temptation, but as God he was unable to sin. The fact that Jesus possessed in one person these two natures resulted in a real temptation to sin, but an inability to succumb to that temptation and the ability to overcome the temptation totally. I want to look particularly at the third temptation and application. This morning we weren't across something that actually and I don't know if you've had this, I've had it happened several times in my life and and maybe some view of will where people are you talking to someone about your particular view and your reformed view of Scriptures and your reformed view of salvation and and the reformed view of God's ordaining all things and all all those kinds of things,...

...and, uh, you have people say something like this. I've I've had this. He said, well, if you believe God ordains all things, why don't you just go out in a freeway and lay down and then if God wants you to live, you'll live. Well, our answer to that Christ has given to us right. But it is written you shall not tempt the Lord your God, and that kind of temptation can come to us in various ways. When I was a teenager in my assembly of God's Church, we were taught, we were exposed to a teaching in our youth group that said that if you want an answer from God, you ask God the question. You have your closes Bible and you open your Bible and you don't look and you point and then you look to see God's answer, uh, to whatever your word is and uh, you know, that's great. Until you do that and you point, you look and it says thou shalt surely die. Uh and that, and you know, you Oh, two out of three Lord, two or three. But you know, if the old story is you know, the Guy Opens it up and says Judas went out and hung himself, and he says, oh no, and so he opens it up again and says go thou and do likewise. He opens it again it says what they'll do us new quickly. So yeah, it can be a little dangerous to do it. But again, that is that is tempting God. That is not the way God teaches us to get guidance from him. It is a temptation of God. It is a false confidence, which is the other thing. Jesus could have said, I'll go ahead and cast myself from this tempo because God will protect me. But that would be a false confidence and and a lot of times people do that, and Christians will do that, and they'll even use the concept of faith as a way of getting out of doing something. Well, if God wants me to have a new job, he'll open one up. Well, maybe you should send out some res Amazed. How about that? That might be an idea. I...

...had a friend years ago that said that he believed that he didn't need to get a job, but God was going to provide all of his needs. False confidence, because the scripture says if a man doesn't work, it should need we can even use it as a concept, as a way of avoiding obedience to God. I'm going to marry this person even though I know they're not a believer, because I believe God can convert them. or You could just obey God's word that says do not be unequally yoked, and so we can use this in many ways. A little over ten years ago I was sitting up in my deck and I got a call from my man. I hadn't hearn from for for a few years and he called me up and he said I wanted to talk to you. He said I gotta tell you something and I said okay, what is that? And he said, uh, I want you to know I've been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And UH, so we're talking and he said here's what I'm struggling with. He says, I don't know should I go to a doctor or should I trust God in this? And he said I'm struggling in that. It always amazes me that Christians react to health issues differently than they do two car issues. Christians don't go AH, you know, my car's broken down. I don't know if I should just pray and trust God or go to a mechanic. You know we always go to mechanics. And so I said to him, I said, should you go to a doctor? You should not only go to a doctor, you should go to the absolute best doctor that you can find the deals with these things. I'm not saying don't pray, I'm not saying don't trust God, but a lot of times we want to sound so spiritual and all as we're doing is sounding foolish and we need to be careful again trying to put a false confidence or falling into Satan's temptations. About that? Or...

...how about this one? I've heard this many times. I bet you have to. I know I shouldn't gamble, but nonetheless, people say, I'm a Christian, but I don't think I need to attend church. You ever heard that? Um, yes, you do, because if not, you're neglecting the very means of grace that God is elected to confirm you and strengthen you in the faith. Oh then you hear this, but there's so many hypocrites there. Yeah, and there's room for one more. So it's okay, you can come and you know what, you never say I'm not going to work because there's a lot of hypocrites there. But God has ordained it. And so again we need to be careful, because this temptation comes upon us and meant these ways and many others. But let's look about as we look at what Christ did, let's look at for also our own edification and our temptations. The first thing we can fast and agree upon is we are never ever tempted by God. God never tempts us. As I quoted in James one thirteen. Let no one say when he's tempted. I am tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one. He tempts no one. But the second thing we have to understand is in temptation we are facing an enemy who is greater than us. Our Savior triumphed in the wilderness. He overcame the evil one. But if you and I trust in our strength alone, we will be overcome. But if we trust in Christ we can endure. So the scripture gives us things we must do. Number one, we must pray, as we will pray this morning. Lead US not into temptation. That's not just a prayer for Sunday folks, that's a prayer for every day of the week. That's why it says give us this day our daily bread. Lead US not into temptation.

But when we are brought into temptation, we need to flee Satan and flee to God, as James Four seven says. Submit yourself therefore to God. Resists the devil and he will flee from you. G CAAMPBELL Morgan says. God never intended man to face temptation in his own strength, and that is our first step. Fleeing to God, resist him in the faith, as we read earlier today, we must ask the Lord. Lord, you have promised in First Corinthians ten thirteen, that you will, with the temptation, also make a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it. Lord, show me what that way is. Hebrew's forces. 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 saying let us then, with confidence, drawn near to the throne of grace that we may find mercy and find grace to help in time of need. I found a quotation in Kent Hughes that I don't know. I mean, I can't prove this quotation. Sometimes stories get told over and over again, but but he quotes Martin Luther saying says, when Martin Luther was asked how he over overcame the devil, he replied well, when he comes knocking upon the door of my heart and asked who lives here, the dear Lord Jesus goes to the door and says Martin Luther used to live here, but he's moved out. Now I live here and when Christ feels our lives, Satan has no entrance. Well, it's an interesting story. Again, I can't I can't prove that luther actually said that. I tried to find proof but I wasn't able to do that. But again, as long as there is life, there'll be temptation. Temptations will come, temptations will go. Your temptations will change as you get older, as John Seems to indicate.

It is classifying the people in the church in the three groups, and so some of the things that are temptations of youth are not temptations of old age and temptations of old age are not the same temptations as youth. And Satan will seek to destroy you, but he will not because Christ has overcome. When Jesus, or when the scriptures give us the story of the temptation of Jesus, I said, there are correlations we are meant to see. One is the forty days of wilderness corresponding to the forty years in the wilderness of Israel. But the second way we need to see this is that Jesus, Christ is the last Adam and where Adam failed in temptation, Jesus overcomes and look at the difference in the temptations. Adam was tempted in a beautiful garden, a paradise of Paradise. Jesus US was tempted in one of the most barren wilderness possible. Adam was in a state where he was able to eat any fruit that you deserved and and probably not suffer from any hunger whatsoever. Jesus was tempted because he hadn't eaten for forty days and forty nights. Adam was tempted in a world where sin did not even exist per se, but Jesus was tempted in a world where sin reigned in all of its inhabitants. Adam fell at the very first opportunity, but Christ endured everything. For we do not have a high priest who was unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who, in every respect, has been tempted as we are. Yet without sin, Jesus triumphed. We need to turn to him, flee to him in your temptation, pray to him, ask him not to lead you into temptation and, when you're in temptation, asked him to show you...

...the way of escape. But I want to finish this morning with an application concerning that second temptation where Jesus was shown the kingdoms of the world and whether or not he actually had that power. Satan had that power to do that, and I want to deal with that. But I want you to notice in all the temptations that Christ endures, there is one temptation that I would say is above all others, and it's found here, I think, in the second temptation. Luke is mentioned it. For that reason, let me take you to another story and another one after that to help you to understand it. I'm sure you all know this. In Matthew six, from that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the elders in chief, priests, inscribes and be killed and the third day, be raised. Jesus knows what's going to happen and he clearly tells his disciples what's going to happen. But I want you to notice what happens next, because I think it's very important. In Verse Twenty Two, Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, far be it from you, Lord, this shall never happen to you now. Remember this is the Peter who just said you are the Christ, the son of the Living God, and Jesus said flesh and blood is not revealed that. My father has revealed that to you. Peter has uttered words that the father has revealed to him. So now he thinks Whoa I'm a spokesman, you know. So I'm going to give another one. But in this case Jesus identifies the author of this to be Satan. He says he turned and said to Peter in Verse Twenty Three, get Thee behind me. Satan, you are a hindrance to me, for you're setting your mind on things of...

God, not on the things of God, but on the things of man. What is so horrendous about what Peter says there that Jesus even seems to violently attribute it to Satan? I'm going to make it clear, I hope. Luke twelve fifty, Jesus said, I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished? Here that how great is my distress. Matthew Nine and taking with him Peter and the two sons of Ebite, he began to be sorrowful and troubled, and he said to them, my soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch with me going a little further. He fell on his face and prayed, saying, my father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. Let me link them together in the garden. What is the cup that Jesus desires to pass from him? It's the cross. What is it that Peter Implies in Matthew Sixteen that the Lord does not have to undergo? It's the cross. What is the baptism that Jesus has straightened with? It's the cross. And what Satan's saying to Jesus? You can have all this, but without the cross. The temptation of avoiding the cross is so strong that Jesus must rebuke Peter and the strongest words possible. The temptation is so strong in the garden that Jesus fights against it by sweating, as it were, drops a blood. The temptation is so strong that in John Twelve, Jesus says now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father saved me from this hour but this purpose I have come forth. Father,...

...glorify your name. The temptation is so strong. You say, well, but it went. He went to the cross, he conquered. Yes, but you know that temptation wasn't done as he's on the cross. Matthew, if you are the son of God, come down from the cross. I wish if I were there, I would have said in this condition I am now Jesus, if you are the son of God, please, please, don't come down from the cross. I can't afford that. You have to stay. That was the temptation. We're going to come to the Lord's table in a few moments and we're gonna remember the cross and what he did there. But that was a temptation, above all else, that the Lord constantly had to face. He knew it was coming from the very beginning. He knew it was coming, but he faced it for us that if we will trust in that cross that he stayed to die on, we also can have eternal life. Let's pray.

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