Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after Invocavit

Posted on February 23, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 4:1-15 (NKJV)
4:1 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.
3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
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. 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.’”
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 keep you,’
11 and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
All three temptations that Jesus endured have a pattern in common. The devil holds up something appealing, something that appears good and desirable. He then implies that God is evil for not giving Jesus that “good” thing. Finally, he offers a way for Jesus to get it by getting around God’s command and will.
This is no different than what the devil did in the Garden of Eden. He pointed our mother Eve to the fruit of that one tree in the garden that was forbidden to her and Adam, and made it seem appealing. He made God seem evil for not giving it to them. And then he implied that God’s Word and warning were invalid; they could go ahead and eat and not surely die.
The devil, of course, was lying. But where Adam and Eve gave in to the devil’s lies, Jesus, the Second Adam, stood firm. If He was deprived of some good thing, like food, it was for His good, because His Father is good. If He was deprived of the kingdoms of the world and their glory, it was fine, because God has the right to rule as He sees fit. If He was deprived of seeing God’s love and faithfulness toward Him, it was okay, because He trusted His Father fully, without demanding proof of His truthfulness. Jesus was right to trust and obey His Father. Flee to Him when you are tempted, both for forgiveness and for the strength to stand firm.
Prayer: O Lord, mercifully hear our prayer and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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