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Jesus Is Tempted in the Wilderness (Luke 4:1-15)

September 1, 2019 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: Topical

Scripture: Luke 4:1-15

Many recent teachers have claimed that Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness shows that we need solitude, silence and stillness in order to grow spiritually. Those who teach this have misrepresented the point of Jesus’ temptations and misled the church. In this sermon we show from Luke’s narrative how Jesus overcame temptation as the perfect Son and thus succeeded where Adam and Israel had failed. Jesus was declared to be the Son of God at His baptism and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. The 40 days there correspond to the forty years that Israel was in the wilderness. We show from many OT and NT scriptures that Israel failed and was subjected to the “host of heaven.” Jesus withstood all three of Satan’s temptations by citing applicable scripture. Luke’s language in which the beginning and end of the section have the term “completed,” using a term that implies fully completed. Jesus was tempted as Adam and Eve were and as Israel was. Only Jesus overcame temptation and was perfectly sinless. The three temptations correspond to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. This is about what Jesus did which we could not do, not about practicing solitude, silence, and stillness as popular Enneagram teachers claim.

This sermon ends with an explanation of the Lord’s prayer in Luke, showing that it is both theological and active. Themes brought out earlier in Jesus’ temptation and the beginning of His ministry in Luke 4 are found in the Lord’s prayer. Nothing about prayer or Christian devotion implies silence or solitude. Those who go there tempt God by putting themselves under temptation and the influence of spirits. We issue a strong warning to trust Christ and reject solitude, silence, and stillness. 

Sermon slides and handout can be found under the Downloads tab.