(Luke 4:1-14 ESV) 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” 9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
This is a very familiar passage of Scripture. It usually evokes one of two different responses. First, there are those who read this and are inspired by the fact that Jesus overcame every temptation the devil threw His way. The sentiment is…”If Jesus could overcome then so can I.” The other response is one of frustration. Comparing themselves to the “perfect record” of Jesus, this group of people think that they can’t overcome anything. “Jesus batted 1000% and I can’t even keep my thoughts pure for 10 minutes!”
As I read this passage today, I kept noticing the references to the Holy Spirit. (1) Jesus, FULL of the Holy Spirit… (2) LED by the Holy Spirit… (3) Jesus returned in the POWER of the Holy Spirit. The simple reality is… Jesus lived, moved, breathed, walked, talked, made decisions, thought, according to an inner influence of the Holy Spirit. The nature of the Spirit indwelled every part of Jesus!
I’ve enjoyed a pretty exciting life. Military kids AND preachers kids have at least one thing in common… they’ve moved around a lot! Moving causes one to realize that there are many different ways of doing things. Speech is different. Traditions are different. Cooking is unique. Mindsets are different. Some parts of the country are more conservative, while others are predominately liberal. Some areas have higher concentrations of baptists and others have a higher population of catholics. But, with all the differences, there are also many similarities. Peel away the learned behaviors and we discover we are more alike than we realize.
When one does life in many locations, they must adjust to the nature of the current culture. I don’t mean you have to try to be someone other than yourself; you don’t have compromise your core belief system, but you do adjust your actions to respect your culture. As an example, when I visited Korea we removed our shoes before entering the sanctuary. For me, it was a temporary adjustment that helped me relate to the Koreans I was visiting. For those who have become life-long missionaries there, what was a temporary adjustment for me became a second nature to them.
When scripture records that Jesus was full of, led, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is saying that the totality of His life was influenced by an inner nature that infilled Him. His identity was consistent with the Father AND the Holy Spirit. Jesus often reminded His disciples, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. … 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” (John 8:28, 38 KJV) And likewise, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63 KJV)
It is true that Jesus was the only perfect man. He was sinless. But, it is evident that He relied upon the influence of the Holy Spirit. Shouldn’t we do the same? Before Jesus left earth He declared, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. … 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:16-17, 25-26 ESV)
PRAYER: Father, I pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit today. May my every thought and action reflect His nature in me. Amen.