Luke 4:13

The devotional paper, Our Daily Bread, tells about an Australian plant called the “Sundew.”

It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Although its colorful red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, its leaves are deadly.

Sundew is a carnivorous plant. Its shiny leaves are sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent looking plant then feeds on its victim.

Such is the nature of Satan’s schemes. A temptation appears harmless and enjoyable, but once caught in its clutches the results can be disastrous and deadly.

Luke 4 records Jesus’ temptation after fasting for 40 days. The Devil employed the same devices he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. The lust of the flesh. The Lust of the eyes. And the Pride of life. An earlier blog post details this encounter.

However, today, note what Luke says when the temptation ended.

“When the devil had finished every temptation, he left him until an opportune time” (Lk. 4:13).

There are several lessons we can learn from this verse.

#1 The Devil isn’t easily discouraged.

Warren Wiersbe makes this observation. “Jesus came out of the wilderness a victor, but Satan did not give up. He watched for other opportunities to tempt the Saviour away from the Father’s will.”

Satan wasn’t finished with Jesus. And he’s not finished with us either. I once thought mature, older Christians didn’t deal with temptations like younger people. But I’ve learned better.

Regardless of our age, level of maturity, or length of Christian service, Satan will continue to exploit some weakness. Some crack or crevice in our character. Some opportune time to lead us astray.

Paul told Timothy to “flee youthful lusts.” However, be advised that there are middle-age lusts. Yes, even senior citizen lusts. While the nature of these desires may to some degree change their appearance over the years, they are still present. And Satan continues to entice us.

#2 To avoid temptation we must not “give place to the devil.”

This warning in Ephesians 4:27 is rendered by the ESV ”give no opportunity to the devil.” The context is dealing with anger. When we allow our emotions to run wild with a heart filled with anger, wrath, bitterness and vengeance, it’s an opportunity for Satan. The Message paraphrases it to warn: “Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”

This requires courage, commitment and a conscious choice to keep Satan at arm’s length. To recognize his subtle schemes. To be aware of his methods. Like the apostle Paul, we cannot be ignorant of the Devil’s designs (2Cor. 2:11).

#3 Winning the battle doesn’t mean we’ve won the war.

Jesus was victorious over Satan in the wilderness. But he would use other means to seduce the Son of Man. The Pharisees’ constant criticism. The unbelief of his own brothers. The dullness of the disciples in discerning his mission. Once, Jesus even rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Think about it. If Satan used one of Jesus’ most ardent followers as a means of temptation, what about us? Who will he use? A spouse? A parent? A son? A daughter? A preacher? A pastor? A friend?

Don’t think because you’ve resisted Satan’s past appeals that you’re home free. As Andrew Bonar advised, “Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle.”

#4 Be aware of your weakness.

Sometime ago Discipleship Journal surveyed its readers who ranked areas of the greatest spiritual challenge to them:

1. Materialism.
2. Pride.
3. Self-centeredness.
4. Laziness.
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.
5. (Tie) Sexual lust.
7. Envy.
8. Gluttony.
9. Lying.

What’s your weakness? And when are you the most vulnerable? Are there situations, circumstances, or places where Satan has a greater opportunity to lead you astray? I’m reminded of the fellow who said, “I’ve had my nose broken three times in the same place.” To which his friend quipped, “I think I’d stay out of that place!”

Stay away from places and people where the Devil has the most influence and exercises greater opportunities for wrong doing.

#5 Remain Watchful.

While Satan may leave us alone for a season we must continue to be alert and on guard. Peter admonished, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

In the same Discipleship survey, the respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81%) and when they were physically tired (57%).

Furthermore, they said that resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84%), avoiding compromising situations (76%), Bible study (66%), and being accountable to someone (52%).

Jesus understands our temptations. He knows their reality. And is aware of Satan’s schemes. So take heed to his counsel.

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Passage To Ponder

2 responses to “Luke 4:13

  1. Thanks for your thoughts.


  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap: March13-17 | ThePreachersWord

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