Tuesday, November 01, 2011

New Year: Luke 4-5 for Oct 29

It is difficult to say enough in praise of how strong an introduction to the ministry of Jesus Luke 4-5 are.

(Matthew 4:1 - 9:17 and Mark 1:12 - 2:22 are in sequence with Luke 4-5, when we view them "synoptically.")

The initiative with the disciples (5:1-11,27-32); the completely different views than the scribes and Pharisees (5:21-26,30-32,36-39); how Jesus dealt with those who were angry with Him (4:25-30); how he dealt with His own disciples who were afraid of Him (5:8-10); His teaching on the pull of tradition and the necessity to avoid it (5:38-39).

But something must be said about the time the Lord "was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil" (4:1-2).

The first-time reader might notice how "technical" these temptations are, i.e., the use of Bible verses, and that does it. But looking up the references, it turns out that we notice that the Lord uses verses from a part of the Old Testament that is not as well-traveled as much as some others. Many have heard the story of the Exodus, but who can say where "man shall not live on bread alone" is? Or "You shall worship the Lord God and serve Him only" is? Or where "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test" is (Dt 8:3; 6:13; 6:16)?

It's from a restatement section of the Old Testament, where Moses is restating what happened earlier. So there is secondary application of each of the verses: man shall not live on bread alone is a part of the original sentence, which goes on "but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord" (Dt 8:3). The verse itself is being employed in what the verse is saying a man should employ it to do, and not only that, it answers the temptation about bread.

Similarly, Luke 4:8, "you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only" is what Jesus does in not bowing before the devil; as well as that, the content of the verse itself answers the temptation.

Similarly, 4:12. "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test": Jesus does not jump; therefore He does not put the Lord to the test. As well as that, the verse itself is employed to answer the temptation of Jesus to throw Himself down, as to why not. Jesus uses the Word of God in two concurrent ways during these three temptations: He follows it, and He provides it as sufficient answer to the temptation's issue.

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