One of the most interesting things about the word for “test” in the Greek is that it can also mean “tempt.” Its translation depends on the context. Satan surely wanted to “tempt” Jesus to sin, but Jesus was “tested” and passed with flying colors! Jesus’ encounter teaches us some important lessons about testing/temptation:
- God allows us to be tested. Notice that it’s the Spirit that leads Jesus into the wilderness.
- Others (including Satan) will try to get us to sin.
- We should pray so that we can withstand “temptation” (fasting implies prayer).
- We can also fast (be careful here). Start small, and understand your motives.
- Knowing the Bible can help us to resist temptation. Jesus used the Bible to counteract Satan at each point of temptation.
- Since Jesus was tested, we can go to Him for strength and understanding.
Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.”
Fresh off the temptation Jesus begins going from town to town and teaching in the synagogues. He ends up in His hometown, and is asked to read the lesson. He reads from the prophet Isaiah, and then applies the verse to Himself. Jesus senses their doubt, and confronts them about it by saying that it will be easier for a non-Jew to believe in Him than for one of His own countrymen! Luke shares this because He is once again showing that Jesus is the Savior of the world. In fact, Jesus’ quotation from Isaiah shows us that He came to:
- Proclaim glad news to the poor (in spirit)
- Heal those who are broken hearted and in spiritual distress
- Proclaim deliverance to those who are captive to the power of sin
- Give the power of sight to the spiritually blind
- Bring victory to those who are downcast and inwardly bruised
- Announce the Messianic age, in which God brings salvation to His people
The people from His hometown can’t fathom it, try to kill Him, is and it seems that He somehow supernaturally able to make His escape.