Scripture: Luke 4:1-13 (Common English Bible)
Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. 2 There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. 3 The devil said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread.”[a]
5 Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. 7 Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”[b]
9 The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it’s written: He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you 11 and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.[c]”
12 Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God.”[d] 13 After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.
Through the season of Lent, we will walk with Jesus through the wilderness as God prepares us the journey ahead. The Negro Spiritual, “Wade in the Water,” reminds us that our journey to wholeness and freedom is not easy, but God is with us. Our Lenten journey is not supposed to be easy, but through it, God builds in us new faith, new love, new hope and renewed mission in Jesus’ name!
Jesus was tempted by the devil, but he was able to “wade in the water” through faith in God!
Bible Study Lesson
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes).
Discuss the question: “What are your hopes for this coming Lenten season?”
Discussions Questions (Approximately 30 minutes)
- Why might it be important that the devil adds the conditional “If you are the Son of God…” to begin his temptations?
- We believe that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Thus, these were actual temptations for Jesus. How are these three scenarios actual temptations for Jesus?
- What might it mean that the devil tempts Jesus using Scripture passages?
- How might our Lenten practices help us to fully surrender to God’s will and be more fully engaged in where God is guiding us?
Prayer (10 minutes).
Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit, we give thanks that because of Jesus, you can empathize with our weakness and temptations. We give you thanks that in moments of trial and temptation, you will not leave us or forsake us. When we have failed to obey, and have fallen short of your glory; when we have not lived up to the calling of our identity as baptized believers, help us to know we can run to you for forgiveness and mercy. Empower us to live a life of repentance and mercy. Amen.