In this second part of the Lion and the Lamb we will start looking at Luke’s account of Jesus’ encounter in the wilderness with the prince of darkness.
Luke gives us the most information on the temptations of Jesus. We find his version of the events in chapter four.
Verse 1 ~ “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan [His baptism in water] and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”
Here are the steps Jesus took in this account of His wilderness experience: Jesus was ~
 Verse 1 ~ Being filled
 Verse 1 ~ Being led
 Verse 1 ~ Being tempted
 Verse 13 ~ Being victorious
 Verse 14a ~ Being empowered
 Verses 14b, 15 ~ Being famous
 Verses 16ff ~ Being Himself
The first important information Luke gives us is Jesus “was being filled with the Spirit”. This indicates a continuous process of being filled. Jesus was not just filled with the Spirit at the Jordan River. He maintained a lifestyle of being filled. These are the same words Paul used in Ephesians chapter five verse eighteen. “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be [continually being] filled with the Spirit.” Christians must be filled, and be continually filled with the Holy Spirit in order to walk in a manner that is worthy of their calling.
We covered “being led” in the previous blog so I will not cover that in this one.
Verse 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.”
This sets the stage for the first assault on the Lamb.
Each temptation thrown at Jesus was the same three temptations that the first Adam faced in the Garden. We know Adam failed. Jesus, the Last Adam [1 Corinthians 15:45] was overwhelmingly victorious.
Each temptation also represents all of the temptations that mankind is faced with on a continual basis. As a Man, Jesus modeled how to defeat the enemy. His success was to believe in God, to believe [trust] God, and to manage Himself.
The three temptations were:
 The lust of the flesh [Luke 4:2,3] ~ natural hunger
 The lust of the eyes [Luke 4:5-7] ~ greed, power and wealth
 The pride of life [Luke 4:9-11] ~ instant fame, drawing attention to self and not God
The three solutions Jesus used were:
 Verse 4 ~ God’s Word and Will [Our solid foundation to defend ourselves and defeat our enemy]
 Verse 8 ~ Worship God [Keeping the main thing the main thing]
 Verse 12 ~ Humility [Keeping a proper perspective]
In the first attack the enemy seized on Jesus’ humanity and the need for food. The first sin in the Garden [Genesis 3] entered into the world through food. The first man settled for what looked good instead of Who [God who] is good [Matthew 19:17]. That subtle compromise allowed the dark one to gain a foothold in the affairs of God. In his compromise Adam submitted his destiny to how he felt instead of to the One he should be trusting to take care of him.
Jesus defeated all three temptations by using the Word of God the way the Word was intended to be used by God. In this first temptation He used the Word and the will of God.
 Verse 4 ~ “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” [Deuteronomy 8:3] Jesus lived out of His core value that Father God was trustworthy. In other words, Jesus not only believed in God, He believed God. Also, Jesus believed that God was for Him and that He would continually speak to Jesus ways to overcome the temptations He faced.
In addition, Jesus was communicating the way to living successfully for God was to be ready and willing to hear what He was “now” saying, not just what He had said. Jesus said we would receive life if we lived on the proceeding Word of God, not just the preceding word of God.
Peter says this in 2 Peter 1:12, “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.” Present truth is what God is presently saying. To be established is to be set firmly in place, to be confirmed and to be strengthened. It comes from two root words that mean to make to stand, to uphold or sustain authority, to be solid and immovable.
The dark side of this word comes into play when we refuse to hear the “new” word. The result is because our heart is not moved our feet never move. We become entrenched in what has always been, thinking that we are in the right. This is how the old moves of God and those God used in those moves persecute the new move of God and those He is presently using. Can you say “scribes and Pharisees and Jesus?”
A great example of the proper meaning of being established in present truth can be found in the story where God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac [Genesis 22].
Abraham obeyed God by taking Isaac and the items needed for the sacrifice to the place God told him to go. Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar. He raised the knife he was going to use to sacrifice him and, “But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.'”
What if Abraham had been unwilling to hear what God was presently saying? He had the Word of the Lord which was “kill Isaac.” Many Christians live their lives only on what God said to them in the past. Jesus said we must live by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth.
There are at least twelve verses [NKJV] in the Pentateuch [first five books of the Old Testament] that reveal this principle. “Obey My Law [Written Word] and heed My voice” are the words [or similar words] that are used to describe how we are to conduct our lives. Twelve is the number of government. God governs us from the inside out by His written Word [what He has said] and His voice [what He is saying].
The second way that Jesus combatted this assault can be found in John chapter four. There is a story where Jesus and the team came into Sychar, a city in Samaria. The team is hungry so they go into the city to get some food. Jesus stays at the well that was outside the city. A woman comes to get water from the well and Jesus encounters her. After the encounter the team comes back and tries to get Him to eat. He says to them, “I have food that you do not know about. My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to do His work.”
Doing the will of God, managing ourselves in such a way that honors the Father and protects His heart is life-giving nourishment. Also, helping people find their true identity is invigorating.
The second temptation had to do with where do we direct our affections. Do we set our affections on stuff? Do we set our affections on our ability to accumulate that stuff? Or do we set our affections on God?
Here is how Jesus handled this temptation, and in doing so He taunted the one who was trying to get Him to fall, as well as set the priority for all Kingdom life and ministry.
Verse 8 ~ “Jesus answered him, ‘It is written [Deuteronomy 6:13], you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'”
The taunt ~
When the dark one tempted Jesus to worship him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, Jesus reminded him of how far he had fallen.
“You [devil] shall worship the Lord your God” = “Here you are trying to get me to fall. I want to remind you of where you used to be and what you used to do [Ezekiel 28:11-19].” The dark one, before he fell, was called the anointed cherub. Cherubs are not cute little fat angels. Cherubs are powerful angels that have access to the throne of God. The dark one is the only angel that is called “anointed”. He held a place of honor, importance and influence. Then pride entered his heart and he was swiftly removed from and forever excluded from the Presence of God.
Jesus taunted him with the torment of his stupidity. Every time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his. He can never escape the destruction that awaits him. You have, if Jesus is your Lord.
The priority ~
Worshiping God is our first and foremost priority. Jesus said, “you shall worship God and [then] serve Him.” Our service for God must flow out of a core value for God. Worship is an intimate act. Worship is motivated by a right relationship with Father God.
Ministry to the Lord must precede ministry for the Lord. We must remain connected to our Source of Power in order to live powerfully in a world that is set up to get us to fall, and fail.
The third and final temptation was self-aggrandizement. This temptation was designed to trick Jesus into drawing attention to Himself. The prince of darkness knew that if Jesus jumped the angels would save Him. He also knew there were lots of people at the Temple and this would create a circus atmosphere.
Jesus saw right through this. His answer, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test [Deuteronomy 6:16].” In other words, remain humble. Humility is not putting yourself down. Humility is elevating God in our heart to His rightful place. Humility is a product of worship. Worship is focusing on the greatness and goodness of God.
In my next blog I will expound on worship but for now I want to focus on the other aspect of humility.
There is a story in Acts chapter eight [14-25] where the power of God was in demonstration and a magician that accepted Christ offered the apostles money to receive the gift. He wanted the gift to further his own agenda and make himself prosperous.
Peter rebuked him and told him he better repent because his heart was not right. There are a lot of gifted people who use their gifts for self-aggrandizement. They worship God with their mouths but their heart is far from Him. Jesus said those who worshiped that way were worshiping in vain. In other words their worship was empty and void of real life.
Proverbs 27:2 says this, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth. A stranger, and not your own lips.”
Proverbs 27:21 says this, “The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, and each person is tested by the praise accorded him.”
How do we handle other people acknowledging us for our work, or our ministry? Do we swell with pride and think we are really something or do we keep perspective and simply say, ‘thank you so much”, and then at our first opportunity go to God and give Him all the glory.
The dark one took all the accolades that God deserved and hijacked them. He did not realize until it was too late the price he would pay.
Look at what Paul said in Philippians 3:3 ~ “For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the [our] flesh.”
Or here in 1 Corinthians 10:31 ~ “. . . whatever you do. do all to the glory of God.”
God and giving Him glory should always be our focus. We should never purposely draw people’s attention to us. Keith Green wrote these lyrics from the song OH LORD YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL back in the 70’s,
“I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.”
That is what Jesus was communicating as He repelled satan’s assault on both Father and Son.
‘My job here is to direct all the attention to the Father.”
The next thing Luke reveals is this ~ Being victorious!
Verse 13 ~ “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” He won! He won because He had made a decision long before the temptations came that He would glorify God in His body.
Look at what the writer of Hebrews says about Jesus before and after He is born.
“Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offerings You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me. In whole brunt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.’ Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come [in the scroll of the Book [O/T] it is written of me] to do Your will, O God'” [10:5-7].
Jesus came into His temptations with a core value for doing the will of God under all circumstances. When the choice was presented for Him to sin He declined. There was no decision to consider. He only had one option.
The result of His victory was the next step. He was empowered.
Verse 14a ~ “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.” He went in being filled and being led and He emerges with a new anointing and authority. He is now the Lion of Judah and He is on the prowl for everything that opposes the mind and mission of His Father. I like to say Jesus got turbo charged.
The next revelation I just love. The devil tried to get Jesus to compromise and worship him so that he, as the legal steward of the planet and all the kingdoms in the world, could “give” them to Jesus.
Verses 14b, 15 ~ “And news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues being glorified by all.”
I hope you see what is being said here. He got all the devil tried to give him in compromise without the compromise. Honoring God has its rewards. Wow!
Then lastly, Jesus was able to be who He was and to do what He came to do.
Verses 16-21 ~ He gave His inaugural address identifying Himself as the long appointed and awaited Messiah. From this moment on it was on. He never looked back! He never slowed down! He never backed down! And the rest is history.
This blog was a very long one but I felt it necessary to keep it intact. The next one, and possibly last one in the Wilderness Series is entitled, Jesus, The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah. It will elaborate on the purpose and power of worship.
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury