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Two Responses to Temptation

Luke 4:1-4

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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.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

Luke 4:1-4 NIV

Luke 3:21-22 records the baptism of Jesus and God’s identification of Jesus as his Son. And Luke 4:1-13 records Jesus leaving the Jordan, the site of his baptism, and going into the wilderness for forty days, where the devil tempted him. But between the two is a genealogy of Jesus, starting with Joseph, considered Jesus’ father, and continuing back to Adam, identified as the son of God. Why did Luke choose to insert Jesus’ genealogy between these two specific events?

These passages identify Jesus as the Son of God and describe his testing by the devil in the wilderness. They also identify Adam as the son of God. Not explicitly mentioned is the devil’s temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but it is undoubtedly assumed. Jesus and Adam are both identified as sons of God. And both of them are tempted by the devil. But the outcomes are dramatically different.

Responding to Temptation

Adam and Eve failed their test. The result was the introduction of sin into the world and exile from the Garden of God. But Jesus resisted the devil’s temptation and became the means of defeating sin and returning us to the Garden.

The two temptation stories show two distinct responses to temptation. In the Garden, Eve ignored God’s instruction and acted on what seemed best to her, giving into temptation and suffering the consequences. In contrast, Jesus resisted the appeal to his human desires, appealing instead to the Scripture, and resisted the devil’s temptation.

We all face temptation, times when our desires conflict with God’s instructions. Following the example of Adam and Eve in the Garden and yielding to our desires will lead to sin and separation from God. While following Jesus’ example and his appeal to the Scripture will lead to obedience and intimacy with God.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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