The Devil Made Me Do It – Not (Part 4)

Matt 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12.  

The Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness.  Now He is taken to Jerusalem by the devil. That’s quite the contrast.  The devil actually took Jesus somewhere.  Luke 4:9 tell us that the devil took Jesus “to the highest point of the Temple.”  The Jewish Temple is not like our modern day church.  Yet one can easily say that the devil might not be in the church but he’s certainly around the church.  So we need to be on guard at all times.

The devil ups the ante a bit on this next temptation.  He tried to put doubt in Jesus’ mind.  He said, “If.”  It was as though Satan was proposing an “If then” scenario to Jesus.  The devil didn’t lie. He didn’t quote the entire verse. He failed to mention “you wherever you go.” This Psalm talks about being in the will of God.  God will protect you while you’re in His will.  We are vulnerable when we deliberately go outside of God’s will.  This is what the devil was trying to tempt Jesus to do.  If you take the text out of context, you’re left with nothing but a “con.”  The devil tried to con Jesus.  We can’t allow ourselves to be conned by well sounding words.  Remember to check on what you’re told.  This helps you and the speaker.  The speaker is human and can make a mistake.  Doing your due diligence helps you to ensure the spoken word is correct.  If it isn’t then you can help the speaker so that they aren’t going down the wrong path.

Jesus countered Satan with Scripture.  Jesus knew that God would not put us in situations we can’t handle.  We are protected while we are in God’s will.  Admittedly, we might not feel like we’re protected while we are in the midst of our troubles.  The devil wanted Jesus to do something outside the will of God.  Looking at this in another way.  We know God is protecting us from so many seen and unseen dangers.  We should be able to walk in this confidence.  However, this doesn’t mean that we can walk in front of a bus and say, “You can’t harm me because I’m protected by God!”  Nor can we see, “I refuse to accept that jumping in a volcano will burn me. After all, I’m protected by God.”  You can do both of those things.  You will also “benefit” from your desire to do so.  Those consequences won’t be good.  If you would do either one of those things, you would not only be foolish but would be daring God to protect you from a known danger.

This is part 4 of a 6 part series on Jesus’ encounter with Satan in the wilderness.  The majority of this text has been taken from my upcoming book, A Walk With Jesus Through Bible.


[1] Note:  Luke’ sequence of events and Matthew differ in order.  Some Theologians suggest that the two writers were emphasizing different aspects of the conflict.  Consequentially, their order differs.

 

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