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Temptation Of Christ, Dropping The Bombshell

Here's the account Jesus' temptation from the gospel of Luke;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Luke ch4:v1-14
Luk 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Luk 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
Luk 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Luk 4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
Luk 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
Luk 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Luk 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Luk 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

I'm beginning to struggle to say anything else on top of the study of the same passage in the previous Gospels, but here goes.

Though Jesus is tempted of satan (not to reveal his divinity but to cast it off), satan makes the connection of Jesus' first answer of "living by the word of God" with his third temptation. Satan appears to be arguing that the word of God would allow Jesus to sin, and that He also might be able to complete his mission of fulfilling the law having done so, (though Jesus would have broken and been condemned under all the law by sinning once if he had worshipped satan.) It is as if Jesus has to choose whether to cast off his divine purpose by virtue of the first and third temptations, whilst satan holds off on the worship part. Jesus is too wise to fall for a ploy that would end up with the law broken, and satan being given any ground.
The closing statement of Christ - In truth because of the nature of satan's attack upon Christ the God in view here could be Jesus, or the Father or the Holy Spirit.

Moving on to the reading by Jesus from Isaiah - Jesus drops the bomb that he is God.

Here's the verses.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Luke ch4:v18-28
Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luk 4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph 's son?
Luk 4:23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
Luk 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country,
Luk 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
Luk 4:26 But unto none of them was Elijah sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
Luk 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
Luk 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

I have always had trouble with the latter part of this statement of Christ. The scripture Jesus read is not the problem to the hearers, but the statement of fulfilment. The mutterings that "This is Joseph's son" shows they thought he was either completely nuts, or he was claiming to be The Christ. Jesus replies with "physician heal thyself..." because they obviously thought that if he was serious he was as troubled as those to whom the scripture reading is favourable.

Of course, the prophet in his own country statement is simple enough to understand, but the last part? There is one statement "I will have mercy upon whom I have mercy" that ties this all together. Jesus came for those whom the Father gave him, he healed those upon whom God has mercy. That the members of the synagogue were not witness to miracles, signs and wonders and that they held Jesus no honour shows they as much refused to believe on Christ as God chose not to open their hearts and have mercy on them.

If they would not accept Christ then should God owe them mercy? - Evidently from v25 onwards, the answer is no. Likewise, Jesus showed them no miracles because of the hardness of their hearts. Not only does this (in light of the latter verses) declare the divinity of Jesus Christ, but because of their unbelief Jesus himself chose not to have mercy to show them the miracles he was famous for.

God does not owe them signs. If they do not accept the Son of God, they reject the Father. The statement of the scripture fulfilled in their hearing is not so big a bombshell as this equivalence of the selectivity of Jesus' own mercy and their unworthiness to accept him. As shown through the scriptures, only God himself could make these statements regarding their salvation. Jesus claimed to be God here, and they reacted with great anger.


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