Luke 4:1-13

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.




After Jesus had been baptised by John in the Jordan, the Holy Spirit led Him into the desert. He had identified Himself with human beings through His baptism. Now this identification was made stronger as He was tempted in the same way all people are. Jesus Himself must have told someone this story. There was no one else there. At some stage, Luke heard about it and wrote it down. Luke says Jesus was tempted for forty days, yet he only records three instances of those temptations.

The offer of food when someone has fasted for forty days would seem impossible to resist. But God allowed Jesus to be tempted in this way because He knew He could resist it. Satan does not doubt Jesus is God, but he urges Him to identify Himself as such. He suggested Jesus use His power for selfish purposes – to ease His hunger. Adam succumbed to Satan’s suggestion. Jesus did not. Some may think Satan was making a sensible suggestion. Jesus was hungry; He had the power; so why not use that power to change stones into bread and satisfy His hunger?

Jesus responded with Scripture. Believers can resist temptation by doing the same. Satan’s lies cannot stand against the light of God’s truth.

Satan knew why Jesus had come to the world – to win people’s souls. Here he offered an invitation to take a short cut and do this without going to the cross. Satan said he would give Jesus every person who ever lived if only He would worship him. Jesus did not challenge Satan’s statement that he had been given authority over the kingdoms of the earth. If Jesus had accepted, there would be no salvation for humankind.

Once again Jesus used the Word of God to resist Satan. Jesus would only worship God.

Satan then took Jesus to the top of the wall surrounding Temple Mount. It was a long way down to the valley floor. Satan could only suggest Jesus throw Himself down – he had no power to push Jesus himself. This time he quoted Scripture to Jesus. Satan knows how to twist Scripture. Jesus countermanded Satan’s suggestion with His own use of Scripture.

Satan realised he was not going to succeed and so he gave up – for a while.

Jesus made full use of the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in His resistance. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are available to all Christ-followers if they open themselves up to Christ.


When have you spent time in an actual desert or wilderness area? Briefly describe what sort of desert it was. Did you enjoy it or were you uncomfortable there? Why do you think you felt the way you did?


  • How are you feeling about journeying in the wilderness alone with God during Lent this year? What would stop you from doing so? What will encourage you to do so?
  • How do you feel about being alone? How does the idea of being alone with God appeal/not appeal to you? Why do you respond in this way?
  • Who are you when you are with this group of people?
  • Who are you when you are alone? How do the two people who you are vary? Which ‘you’ do you prefer? Why do you think this is so?
  • Are you authentic with God? Or do you wear a mask and try to present yourself as you think you should be? What do you struggle with in this regard?
  • How do you discern between the voice of God and the voice of Satan? What is the difference between the two for you?
  • When did you last spend time alone in confession? What Scripture would you used to reject temptation?
  • Are you willing to let God amend you? Why/why not?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?


May we learn who we are as we spend time with you this Lenten period, Lord, and may we be authentic in our relationship with You. Bring to mind the Scriptures we can use to resist temptation and change us into who You want us to be.

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

A prayer for Lent

Spend some time in prayer asking God for help and for His strength when you face temptation so you can resist it and move on.


Lay aside your mask this week, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and be authentic in your dealings with other people. How does it feel? How do they respond?


Luke Chapter 4

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