Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
Thesis: Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Introduction: The last thing that Luke tells us in the paragraph before us is that the devil left Jesus "until an opportune time." Interestingly, though, Luke only mentions "the devil" one more time in the remaining 20 chapters of his record of the success of our Kinsman Redeemer and that reference has nothing to do with any further aggression against Jesus. As we wind up our study of the qualifying of Jesus for the status of "Kinsman Redeemer", we are going to look into this business of the devil's "departure until an opportune time."
July 23, 2006
- I. The Nature of the Devil's Aggression.
- A. As seen in his descriptive title: the "devil".
- 1. The word derives from a verb that means "to cast" and a preposition that is typically used to indicate a separation between two or more things [See Robertson, p. 580ff].
- 2. The significance of the title and its origins is that the major characteristic of "the devil" is that he "casts" something (typically, a "doctrinal thesis") into a "situation" in order to bring about an unresolvable conflict between two or more participants in that situation.
- B. As seen in his "doctrinal theses".
- 1. In the first temptation, the "devil" (he who throws doctrinal theses into situations to drive conflict) attempted to drive two wedges.
- a. First, he attempted to drive a wedge between the "God" and the "Son" by setting up a "doctrinal thesis" of the "God's Father-failure."
- 1) If Jesus is the "Son", "God" has to be the "Father".
- 2) If the "Father" is willing to permit the "Son" to die by reason of a lack of provision, what kind of "Father" is He?
- b. Second, in a much more subtle approach, he attempted to drive a wedge between the Son's body's needs and the Son's "other" needs.
- 1) The body's "survival" requires sustenance and protection, and "food and raiment" are the "typical" provisions for these "needs".
- 2) The soul's "survival" requires ultimate protection, and a sufficient "Kinsman(men)" is the typical provision for this need.
- 3) The spirit's "survival" requires significance, and becoming someone's "beloved" is the typical provision for this need.
- 2. In the second temptation, the "devil" attempted to continue the "wedge-driving" method.
- a. He attempted to drive a wedge between the "God" and His "Son" by setting up a "doctrinal thesis" of the "God's Authority-abuse." [Satan pretended to be willing to turn all authority issues over to the Son, thus implying the Father was evil for not turning authority over to the Son].
- b. He also attempted, in a more subtle approach, to drive a wedge between the Son's soul's needs and the Son's "other" needs.
- 3. In the third temptation, the "devil" continued the attempt to shatter the unity of the Son.
- a. He attempted to drive a wedge between the "God" and the "Son" by setting up a "doctrinal thesis" of the "God's doubtful loyalty."
- b. He also attempted to drive a more subtle wedge between the Son's spirit's needs and the Son's "other" needs.
- 4. Summary: the "devil" uses "doctrinal theses" to "shatter" the unity that Life requires between people and their God and between the individual aspects of the people themselves ["shattered inside and out"].
- C. As seen in the removal of "doctrinal theses" from people's hearts before they can take root (Luke 8:12). [The most dangerous element of our culture is the television and the computer game's ability to block a person's ability to quietly "focus" upon "truth".]
- 1. This issue has to do with "protecting" the false that is already ingrained.
- a. Jesus said that the devil is a liar -- incapable of using "truth" to promote "truth" (John 8:44 -- there is no truth in him).
- b. Paul said that the devil dominates the present "air" so that human beings cannot escape being immersed in his lies.
- c. The only "escape" for people is the "Truth" of the "Word of God"; a matter of enormous effort on the part of the "devil" to corrupt so that it is effectively "snatched" out of their hearts.
- 2. This issue has to do with "blocking" the "unifying truth" that can bring unity between man and God and between man's inner realities.
- II. The Assumption of the Devil's "Departure".
- A. He "left" because he had given the effort his "best" shot.
- 1. The "devil" would not have gone into this "contest" without having applied the best of his "bag of tricks."
- 2. There did not seem to be any other "approach" to the problem of Jesus' willingness to be subject to the Father.
- B. He did not permanently "leave".
- 1. It is not in the devil's constitution to ever admit to final defeat.
- 2. He only departed to gain some time to come up with a "better" bag of tricks.
- C. He eventually did come back.
- 1. In the original "test", the approach was to attempt to break down the commitment of the Son to the unity He had with the Father.
- 2. In the final "test" (the Garden), the approach was to attempt to use the commitment to unity to dissolve the commitment to the "lesser" unity -- "sacrifice sinful man so that the Son could maintain His unity with His Father".
- III. The Points We Need to "Get".
- A. First, Jesus successfully qualified Himself to be our Kinsman-Redeemer by standing firm in the "words of God" so that he refused to break the unity He had with the Father and within Himself.
- B. Second, we are only going to be able to maximize our experience of Life if we learn from His example.
- C. Third, we need to understand that the "devil" is never going to give up, but he can be successfully resisted.