Luke 4:1-13 NRSVue
1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where for forty days he was tested by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over he was famished. 3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’ ”
5Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And the devil said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ ”
9Then the devil led him to Jerusalem and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’
‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
12Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Lord, you told of these temptations to your disciples - how else would they have known? Can I put words on my own temptations, the weaknesses or wickedness that draw me in particular? Can I see my temptations as you did, against the backdrop of the vocation to which you call me?
Jesus, like Moses before him, retreats into the wilderness where he fasts for forty days. Each temptation involves a seizure of power: power over the elements of creation by turning stones into bread, political and military power by gaining power over the kingdoms of the world, and the power to force God's protection in an inappropriate manner. That Jesus was tested throughout his ministry was widely held in early Christianity. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us, "For do we not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathise with out weakness, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin."