A sermon based on Luke 4:1-13

Nathaniel Timmermann

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’[b]”

5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’[c]”

9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you

to guard you carefully;

11 they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[d]”

12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[e]”

13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

  1. When you think of the practices of the Christian life – activities that Christians practice to know the Lord and receive his gifts – what do you think of? Which do you practice most often?  

  2. Luke 4:2 Do you think the devil exists? What has convinced you?  

  3. Luke 4:3 What is the first temptation? What is wrong with bread? How is this a temptation then?  

  4. Luke 4:5-7 What is the second temptation? What is wrong with kingdoms and splendor? How is this a temptation?  

  5. Luke 4:9-11 What is the third temptation? How is this a temptation?  

  6. The heart of temptation is to make a good thing an ultimate thing.  

  7. In the sermon, pastor made the point: You will fight your whole life if you follow Jesus. Where have you fought the devil and temptation lately? Or are you running away from some fight?  

  8. Craig Evans provides an interesting insight into the temptations. He says, ““All of the suggestions put to Jesus by the devil reflect popular ideas and beliefs about what the Messiah would do when he appeared. Just as God had during the wilderness wanderings, the Messiah was expected to bring bread down from heaven, to subject the other kingdoms to Israel, and to perform some dazzling sign that would convince religious leadership.” (Craig Evans, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, 242) If it is true that these temptations reflect popular ideas and beliefs about what the Messiah would do, what would temptations that reflect popular ideas about today’s messiahs look like? That is to say, what do we expect a messiah or savior to do today and how would he/she be tempted?  

  9. Do you find yourself resisting temptation or just hoping to be saved from the consequences of sin?  

  10. God has given us three tools to handle and overcome temptation: God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s Servant. What is each and how does it help when we face temptation?