Jesus’ First Temptation

Bread and Stone

from google Images

I have been arguing that Luke offers us a record of how Jesus was tempted or tested during his 40 days in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-2). Rather than being in the desert (wilderness) of Judea, I have argued that Jesus was in Galilee in the wilderness of people (cf. Ezekiel 20:35), people completely devoid of God’s Spirit and correct spiritual understanding, where even Jesus’ disciples were slow to understand (Luke 24:25; Mark 7:18; 8:17-18). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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If You Are the Son of God…

Prove It

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In Luke 3:22 we find a voice from heaven declaring Jesus to be God’s beloved Son. In Luke 3:23-38 we have Jesus declared as God’s Son through Adam. That is, Jesus is the Son of Man, the Redeemer who was promised in Genesis 3:15, the Messiah who is called the Son of God (Psalm 2:2, 7, 12). I don’t believe Jesus made much of an impression on the folks witnessing his baptism. John, of course, believed and would have had Jesus baptize him and take over his ministry, but Jesus refused (Matthew 3:13-15). It was more important for Jesus to be numbered with the sinners who came to John, than to become the new leader of an already successful ministry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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Filled with the Spirit

Spirit Filled

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It was said of John the Baptist that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth (Luke 1:15), and the Scriptures tell us that, after Jesus was baptized and returned from the Jordan, he was full of the Holy Spirit and continually led by the Spirit in the wilderness (Luke 4:1). Does this mean that Jesus wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit from birth as John had been or that his filling was any different from that of John? I don’t think so, and the Scriptures don’t conclude that Jesus didn’t have the Spirit of God before his baptism, but was anointed with the Spirit at that time. Any difference one might see between the filling of Jesus and John should be defined by the capacity of the vessel to receive the Spirit (cf.1Kings 8:11; John 3:34). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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Led Into the Wilderness

Wilderness of people - 3

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Both Matthew and Mark begin their record of Jesus’ ministry immediately after his forty day bout with Satan and also after John was put in prison (Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14). Luke, however, records several weeks of Jesus’ ministry before coming to events that occurred after John’s imprisonment (Luke 7:1-10; cf. John 3:22-23; 4:1, 46-53). Several Sabbaths are mentioned between Luke 4:14 (after Jesus’ temptations but before John’s imprisonment) and Luke 7:1 (the beginning of events occurring after John’s imprisonment in Luke’s Gospel). What can be said of these things? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 16, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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God and Dualism

Good and Evil

from Google Images

Before we discuss Jesus’ temptations (Luke 4:1-2), it might be a good idea to consider the problem of evil in our world and how this affects God. One of the problems of traditional Christian thought about God and evil spirit beings, including Satan, is that the doctrine makes out like God and an evil-spirit-world are in conflict, a conflict in which God seems to be losing. In fact, Jesus, himself, was asked if there would be only a few people saved (Luke 13:23). This idea is a product of dualism, which is a philosophy or, in our case, a theology that claims God (the good) is in conflict with Satan (the evil), and these entities are equal or nearly equal in power. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 14, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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The Great Contest that Wasn’t

Temptation - 1

from Google Images

Folks will often read about Jesus’ temptations in either Matthew 4:1-11 or Luke 4:1-13 and come to the conclusion that Jesus was tempted by a spirit-being called Satan (the Devil). However, if you and I could have happened by, would we have come to the conclusion that a spirit being was tempting a person by the name of Jesus? I doubt that it would have been that simple. I think, if we happened on the scene, we wouldn’t have noticed anyone called Satan, nor would we have noticed anyone taking Jesus to a high mountain or even to a pinnacle of the Temple. I believe these things are metaphors for topics or directions taken in real discussions, challenges (more like intimidations) and debates that took place between Jesus and others, whom Satan used to act in his place. Think about it; would Satan, a powerful spiritual enemy, have announced his presence by simply manifesting himself to Jesus there in the wilderness? All Jesus would have had to do was refuse anything he said—a no brainer! Whatever Satan would say must be wrong. What is wrong with this picture? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 11, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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Jesus’ Age and Genealogy

Jesus' genealogy - 1

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Only Luke reveals Jesus’ age when he began his public ministry. He was about 30 years old (Luke 3:23). That is, he was born in the autumn of 3 BC,[1] and the time of Jesus baptism was in the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius (27 AD) or one year after John began his ministry (cf. Luke 3:1),[2] making Jesus a full 29 years of age, but in his 30th year (29 to 30 years of age was his 30th year from birth). Some interpreters have tried to draw parallels between Jesus age and the age of Levites entering their service of the Tabernacle (Numbers 4:3 etc.), but I don’t believe this can be done, since Luke really doesn’t commit himself to a full thirty years of age for Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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