Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
July 16, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<262> Thesis: "Trusting" God is most difficult when the issue is that of the "spirit". Introduction: Luke's point in the first thirteen verses of chapter four is that Jesus is qualified to be our Kinsman Redeemer because He did not succumb to any of the three areas of our sinful failures. He can be the One to Redeem us from all of our sins because He, though being of the same "stuff" as we, did not sin. In the words of Hebrews 2:17, " behooved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted" (ASV). So far in our study, we have seen how the devil attempted to capitalize upon the weakness of Jesus' physical body and the typical, human "fear of death", and how he attempted to capitalize upon the typical, human "fear of the loss of 'control'". He questioned the legitimacy of refraining from using one's own power to provide for one's own "hunger", and he offered the ability to "be in control" of the entire inhabited earth. This morning we are going to turn to Luke's record of the "final" challenge. Anyone who studies the records of the contest between Jesus and the devil is aware of the fact that Matthew puts the three "tests" in a different order than is found here in Luke. For Matthew, it was of the greatest significance that Jesus refused the "control" issue -- so he recorded it as the climax of his record. But, for Luke, it is of the greatest significance that Jesus did not succumb to the challenge to "prove" the words of God are true. The difference existed in the hearts and minds of the authors, not in some "confusion" of the "historicity" of the events. Authors are not compelled to record events in the order they actually occurred unless they claim such an "order". Thematic selectivity is a recognized "authorial right", and both Matthew and Luke had the freedom to exercise it. Matthew, who had been "into" control issues most of his life as a lost man, was driven to present Jesus as a "trustworthy non-controller" who could give "controllers" rest in their souls. Luke, on the other hand, was more "into" standing firm on the word of God (see 1:1-4), and felt that Jesus' demonstration of the difference between "trusting" God and "using God's words as a lever for self-promotion" was most critical for the spirit of man. So, this morning we are going to look into this business of "trusting" the words of God rather than "using" them for personal status issues.