Episode 20: Who Will I Serve? 

April 19, 2023Dave Lambert
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Today, we will close out this three-episode series of Jesus’ face-to-face encounter with Satan in the wilderness. Let’s recap: following His baptism by John the Baptist, Luke  tells us Jesus had been on a forty day fast and was full of the Holy Spirit. Satan first tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread and satisfy His hunger. This tactic failed when Jesus resisted, quoting Deut. 8:3: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.” In Satan’s second attempt, he took Jesus up to a high place and offered Him all of the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him. Jesus knew His destiny was to rule, but only in His Father’s sovereign timing. Again, Satan failed. Jesus rejected Satan’s second offer with the scripture from Deut. 6 to only worship and serve God. In today’s passage, we will see that Satan tried one more tactic. Let’s find out how Jesus responded to that third temptation.   

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If You are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order His angels to protect and guard You. And they will hold You up with their hands so You won’t even hurt Your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”  When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left Him until the next opportunity came. (Luke 4:9-13) 

That’s the language of emotion and relationships. In both of today’s passages, the writers aren’t just sending their readers biblical “bullet points.” They are communicating that being together is important. John “hopes to visit” his friends soon. Paul is “longing to see” his readers, in person, so that he can impart some spiritual gift. It’s common these days to communicate via texts or emails, but the most satisfying exchanges come from spending time together. We can read the other person’s body language. We can see the expressions on their faces. Communication takes on far greater power when we are sharing experiences in person. Even so, many people today are choosing to be cautious about personal interaction, and this is a matter of conscience. As a result, my wife Pam and I have several friends who, because of age or health issues, must remain at home—so we visit them! Relationships are a wonderful gift from God. So today, let’s consider ways in which we make real, person-to-person connections. And if you can’t meet face-to-face, make time, pick up your phone, and call a friend.  

I want to encourage you today, and every day, to “suit up” for battle.  

Read and study God’s Word and be ready to use it—and God will help you overcome your enemy…and that’s always very Good News!  

© 2023 Dave Lambert