After Temptation: More Temptation

Luke 4

When Jesus was in the desert he simply had himself to deal with. As we see from the temptation that is outlined in verses 1-13 that was certainly enough. We too can agree that the temptations, as James tells us, begin with the ideas within our own minds.

What happens when those ideas actually take shape? Jesus’ submission to the Father’s will in the desert allowed him to fully engage the next group of people; his hometown acquaintances. We know the phrase he uses in this passage; a prophet is only without honor among his hometown folks, but let’s remind ourselves of the context.

Jesus has just dealt with great temptations to use his desires and demands to construct something ‘good’ but something that was different than what God had planned. He is immediately confronted by friends and family who demand a performance from him. The very reality which he had just denied himself.

Again and again we see the humility of God on display. There is no showing off, no proving, just his care and compassion for others. NT Wright says about this experience – when they tried to toss him off the cliff for saying he was the completion of Isaiah – that his resistance of temptation alone is what enabled him to resist temptation when presented by family and friends.

If Jesus needed time alone to pray and confront the temptations of life – then most certainly I do as well. Otherwise, we’ll spend our lives responding to the requests and demands of people and not reflecting the care and compassion of our Savior.

Try some silence today. Try some alone time. Trust in the Savior. Trust in the Present God.

Daniel Harding