Luke 4:1-13 Temptation

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were over, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
    and him only shall you serve.’”


And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you’,


11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”


12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.


In contrast to Adam and Eve being tempted in the beautiful garden of provision from God, Jesus is tempted in a barren wilderness.  Jesus is walking with the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit leads him into the path of Satan.  Ten Satan plays with Jesus’ head concerning his sonship.  Surely as the Son he is withing his rights to make bread for himself from rocks? Surely he needn’t die on a cross to have the whole world bow down to him, he need only submit to the Prince of this World, Satan?  Surely he can force God the Father’s hand if he plummets from a parapet, that will show that the Father cares for him?  Jesus sees through each of these short cuts and so he stands firm when he is tempted, unlike Adam and Eve.

We are to resist temptation by knowing God’s word and the big picture of why he has taken hold of us.  The Spirit sometimes leads us into places that test us.  In this way the tempter is thwarted and we show more clearly the power of God.


The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


  1. Who led Jesus into the desert?
  2. Who tempted Jesus?
  3. Why?
  4. When might the Spirit lead us to be tempted?
  5. How do we resist temptation?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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