At His baptism Jesus is filled with the Spirit. As any Jew would know, the next thing that is going to happen is war. When the Spirit comes, somebodies going to wind up in battle. And so it was for, Othniel (Jud 3:10), Gideon (Jud 6:34), Jephthah (Jud 11:29), Samuel (Jud 13:25) and Saul (1 Sam 11:6).
In the opening verses the hearer is led to connect the Sonship of Jesus to the Sonship of Adam (cf 3:38). And the location (wilderness) links the event to the Sonship of Israel (cf. Matt 2:15). The whole event is a recapitulation of Adam and Israel.
The geography is also important. Jesus’ temptation moves from Wilderness, Mountain and, like all things in Luke, ends at the Temple. Adam began life in a Temple paradise upon a mountain where He was offered food. (Ez 28:13-14). Israel also moves throughout its time of temptation from Wilderness to Mountain and finally the Temple.
Each time, the question is the same; “Who will prove Himself a faithful Son?”
The first point of testing is food. Fruit, Manna and bread. Ordinary things causing tremendous temptation. But, being a Son means living by the Word of God. It matters therefore, what table you sit at. When someone tells you to enjoy an abundant, good full life, how do you pursue it?
The second temptation is a temptation to idolatry. We will ultimately bow down to the one who feeds us. Adam was tempted on the mountain of God with idolatry, “You shall be as gods…”. Israel, on the Mountain at Sinai with the golden calf. The temptation here is to gain your inheritance by worshipping another god. But, being a Son means receiving a Kingdom from the Father.
The third temptation has to do with presumption. Doubt which leads to a demand for proof. Because He was at the temple, it was believed He was safe. God does promise protection, but only in the line of duty. (Ps 91:9)
Jesus is the faithful Son who, having been tempted like us, is able to sympathise. Our greatest sin, therefore, is in not turning to a Sympathetic High Priest when we stumble and fall. All of this poses one simple question for us this morning, “Is Jesus really enough?”
Lessons for Little Saints…
Luke tells us about three sons, who are they?
What were the three temptations?
Whose word was Jesus putting His trust in?
How can we escape temptation – the lies of the devil?