Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 4:2-11

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Luke 4:2

forty days. The number forty shows up often in the Old Testament (Gen. 7:4, 12; Exod. 24:18; Num. 14:33; Lev. 12:1-4; Deut. 25:3; Ezek. 4:6). Most relevant here is the parallel with Moses' and Elijah's forty days fasts (see note on vv. 1-13). ate nothing. Some fasts involve no food or drink. Others allow for water only and no food. Jesus's fasts seem to be have been from food only. He still drank water. This is confirmed by the fact that he ate nothing and was hungry. Also, the narrative points to a natural, rather than supernatural fast. The emphasis is on Jesus's weakness. tempted. The devil's temptations in the following verses (vv. 3-12) came at the end of his forty day fast when he was weakest (Matt. 4:2). These were probably the culmination of other temptations Jesus fought off during the forty days. devil. Satan (Mark 1:13), who has been the enemy of God's people from the beginning (Gen. 3:1-5; Rev. 12:9). Scripture presents him as an accuser (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Zech. 3:1-2), deceiver (John 8:44; Rev. 20:10), tempter (1 Chron. 21:1; 1 Thess. 3:5), and murderer (John 8:44). His aim is to destroy the faith of believers (22:31-32; Mark 4:15; 1 Pet. 5:8).

Luke 4:3

The devil's first temptation (see note on 4:1-13). Son of God. Just as the devil attacked Adam's loyalty to God in the garden (Gen. 3:2), here he attacked Jesus's loyalty as well (3:22; see note on vv. 1-13). bread. Jesus was tempted to doubt God's goodness and provision in the midst of difficulty. Because Jesus was hungry, the devil implied that God had abandoned his Son and failed to care for him. Adam (Gen. 3:6) and Israel previously failed similar temptations (Exod. 16:1-3; Num. 11:1-6; Ps. 106:14).

Luke 4:4

It is written. A phrase which speaks to the authority of God's word. bread alone. Jesus quoted from Deut. 8:3. The larger passage (Deut. 8:2-8) is about trusting God in the midst of difficulty. The ministry of the Messiah would be marked by suffering and hardship (see 9:22, 58; 17:25; Isa. 53:3; Acts 3:18). By refusing to perform the miracle, Jesus displayed his trust in God's plan and care. Depending on God as Father was more important than being safe or satisfied (see 22:39-44).

Luke 4:5-7

The second temptation Jesus faced (see note on 4:1-13). showed him. There is no high place from which one could see all the world's kingdom. Together with the speed of this journey, this is probably a vision of some kind. worship me. The devil tempted Jesus to break the first commandment (Exod. 20:3; Deut. 5:7). More specifically, it was a temptation for Jesus to have all the praise and prestige as Lord of the nations (v. 6) without any of the agony and pain of the atonement (see Isa. 53:3-12; 1 Pet. 3:18). In order to receive this, he would need to deny his Father and worship his rival. Both Adam (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 1:22-23) and Israel (see Exod. 32:1-15; Ps. 106:19) previously failed similar tests.

Luke 4:8

Jesus again responded by quoting Scripture. From Deut. 6:13, he made clear that God alone is worthy of the allegiance the devil asked of Jesus (v. 7). God alone stands at the center of all things (Rom. 11:36). Therefore, Jesus desired to love, serve, and obey his Father, even in suffering (see Matt. 22:36-38; John 8:28; 12:28). This is a model for all believers (Heb. 12:1-3).

Luke 4:9-11

The devil's final effort to tempt Jesus (see note on 4:1-13). Jerusalem. Again, this was probably a vision (see note on vv. 5-7). highest point. This pinnacle of the temple complex was at the southeast corner which overlooked the Kidron Valley. This ravine was about 150 ft. (45 m) below. For it is written. The devil mimicked Jesus by quoting Scripture (Ps. 91:11-12) as the basis of his temptation. However, the passage's meaning is distorted to fit his agenda. While the psalmist rejoiced in God's protection and provision, the devil twisted it into a temptation. If Jesus jumped from this height and was saved from death, it would have been a spectacle that verified his special relationship to God. Jesus was tempted to put God's love to the test, disguising unbelief with false faith. Though Israel failed this test in the past (Exod. 17:1-7; Num. 20:1-13; Ps. 106:33), Jesus remained sinless (v. 12).

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