The Test & The Temptation

Jon Burgess


“where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ”. Luke‬ ‭4:2-4‬ ‭


The very first temptation was to feed His flesh and stop feeding His spirit. Jesus was not about to miss the lesson His Father was teaching him. He knew full well that if he did not stand against the temptation of the devil he would give in the same way the Israelites did. It's not by accident that Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 to the devil. In this passage God explained that the reason he had led His people into the wilderness those forty years was to "humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands" (Deut. 8:2). How was Jesus able to withstand the temptation of the devil? By embracing the test of his Dad. His Heavenly Father was teaching him a lesson that would help endure the hardships ahead and ultimately overcome the curse of the cross. Father God was teaching Jesus the lesson the Israelites kept missing: "that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (Deut. 8:3).


From Danielson resisting the wax on/wax off training of Miagi in the Karate Kid to Rocky ignoring the challenges of Mickey the trainer I tend to resist that which makes no sense upfront. If I can't see how something will help me directly it becomes easy to ignore or bypass. Why would God call Jesus out to the wilderness after just being commissioned for ministry? Makes no sense on the surface. Jesus learned from the past, he learned from scripture, he leaned into what the Father was saying. So much so that by the time the devil arrived to tempt Jesus by playing off his hunger Jesus was already full of the Word of God. He embraced the Fathers test and overcame the devils temptations. I must do the same or I will be susceptible to everyone's words and have no room for the Lords. I must learn from those who have gone before. I must learn from Scripture. I must learn from the Father in the very moment of weakness. If I resist where The Father is testing and stretching me then I will give into the hunger for words from other sources. I will start looking to my fellow man to validate my worth rather then the Father. I will start to hang on the words of the crowd rather then Christ. If I look for a short cut through the test I will fall for the savory words of Satan every time.


Father, I'm hanging on your words this morning. I'm filling myself with wisdom from those who have gone before me, both heroes and villains. I'm filling my self with Your written Word which is unchanging and shaping me. I'm going to remain desperate for your words and resist the diet of junk food words and flattery and short cuts. Forgive me for resisting Your testing simply because I don't understand what I'm supposed to be learning from it.

Devotions for September 21

Daniel 7,8
Psalms 137
Luke 4

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