As we read through Luke each week there will be two devotions focusing on particular passages. Click here to read past devotions.
Interesting Tidbits on the Lineage of Jesus (3:23-38):
- Luke has 77 Generations. Seven is the number of perfection. Twelve is the number of Israel, the people of God. So, there are eleven sets of seven and Jesus begins the twelfth — perfecting the people of God…. or maybe the numbers are just happenstance.
- Luke’s list is different than Matthew’s Genealogy (which moves from David through Solomon and the kingly line). As a child I was told this was because Luke traces through Mary, rather than Joseph. I have not been able to find this theory in any scholarly work, and I am not sure the text bears that idea out. — So I am not sure why they are different.
Focus Point: Tempting (4:1-13)
Luke’s Genealogy rather than building to Jesus, goes from Jesus back to Adam. Then the narrative turns to the temptation. Adam, with Eve, brought sin into the world. Now Jesus will face the tempter… but his hunger will not lead him astray of the mission.
Luke and Matthew share this temptation story (Mark’s is very brief). But they differ by switching the second and third temptations.
In Luke, the second temptation is the offer of authority over the kingdoms of the world (v6-7). (Notice that Jesus does not dispute the Devil’s authority over the kingdoms). Considering Jesus’ purpose, to save the world, it would make sense for this to be the climax temptation, as it is in Matthew.
Instead, Luke’s climax is the temple. In this temptation Jesus is not offered anything (like bread, or the world). Instead, I believe, the Devil is offering a temptation on Jesus’ mission. If you throw yourself down, the Father will save you.** Of course we know the full story. Jesus has come down, but the Father will not save him. The Father will allow harm to come to the Son. So I believe the underlining temptation is, “are you going to continue to follow the Father to death?!”
But Jesus chooses to follow and fulfill his calling. (The story begins with Jesus being led by the Spirit and ends with Jesus returning in the power of the Spirit, v14)
**Notice the Devil using scripture — we have a habit of calling the scripture the Word of God. But is it the Word of God when voiced by the Devil?! — Only empowered by the Spirit does the Scripture become the Word.
Connecting to Today: A few nights ago Ezekiel got sick in his bed. So Meg and I were changing sheets. He shares a bunk bed with Darcy, so we moved her to the big girls’ room (setting up an air mattress). Once laundry was started, I brought hand sanitizer to the girls. As I gave it to Darcy, she said, “I need foot sanitizer too.” What? Why? “Because I stepped in it when I was walking to this room.” !!!
We often just sanitize portions of our life. But Jesus was holy. Set apart to follow the Father. Jesus will soon pull bread out of the sky to feed the hungry. So what is the harm in turning a rock into bread? Jesus was hungrier than the crowd (40 day fast)… but Jesus answers, “Man shall not live on bread alone” (4:4). Jesus let go of selfishness to embrace holiness. To embrace following.
Consider: How does the Devil tempt you? — In our busy and congested lives, sometimes this is hard to identify. So you might ask, how am I prevented from completing God’s mission in my life? That is the sin that interests the Devil.