The Temptation of Jesus – A Spiritual Interpretation [Luke 4:1-14] Part 2.

“And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for season. 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”. Luke 4:13-14

Savior God (Jesus) endured a excruciating season of temptation in the wilderness.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin”.(Heb 4:15 MKJV). He overcame the devil with his Divine truth and Divine power. Eventually conquering death and hell, “without sin”, he became unto us a High Priest. An advocate in times we are struggling and needing His help to choose the right path. It was an example to us, of how, we too could overcome the world and the devil.

“The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it”. (1 Co 10:13 ERV)

When the devil had ended all the temptations, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit”. By overcoming the devil and the world, “without sin,” all His Divine power was released inhibited. Again, this was an example of God’s truth and God’s love toward His church. So when we are tried and tempted, we can tap directly into this “power of the Spirit” to overcome our trials.

The Apostle Paul was referring to that power when he said; “In power of miracles and wonders, in power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem, and all around to Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ”. (Rom 15:19 MKJV)

The “Id”

For the sake of discussion, we will use Sigmund Freud’s central, theoretic construct of psychology on how to relate this to the mind and the will when a Christian is exposed to temptation.

“We assume that mental life is the function of an apparatus to which we ascribe the characteristics of being extended in space and of being made up of several portions [ Id, ego, super-ego]. —Freud, An Outline of Psychoanalysis (1940). We picture the unknown apparatus, which serves the activities of the mind, as being really like an instrument constructed of several parts (which we speak of as ‘agencies’), each of which performs a particular function, and which have a fixed, spatial relation to one another; it being understood that by ‘spatial relation’ — ‘in front of’ and ‘behind’, ‘superficial’ and ‘deep’ — we merely mean, in the first instance, a representation of the regular succession of the functions. —Freud, The Question of Lay Analysis (1926)

I am not expounding on psychology, but only using it as an illustration and a tool to illuminate Scripture. Freud said that there was a “unknown apparatus” which “serves the activities of the mind”. The “unknown apparatus” in this case is what we call the “soul” of man in Scriptures.

Diddly goop you say. However, to break down these 4 aspects of the human soul further from a spiritual perspective; 1. ‘spatial relation’ = being in a material world in relation to eternity. 2. ‘in front of’ = To be in a position of looking toward God. 3) ‘behind’ = To be in a position of looking away from God. 4) ‘superficial’ = the mind is in worldly concerns, and ‘deep’ = the mind always is in relationship with eternal matters.

But as every Christian knows, we are born with a sinful nature. Which tends to break every law of God’s kingdom. Examine Romans chapter 7. Paul bemoans the fact the will and mind are turned upside down because we are born and ever carry this wicked bend toward sin (Yi, Yi, YI!). “We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not. I am so human. Sin rules me as if I were its slave. I don’t
understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do the good I want to do, and I do the evil I hate”. (Rom 7:14-15 ERV)

The “Id” Knows

To illustrate this further, let us look at what Freud described as the “Id”; “The id (German: Es) is the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human’s basic, instinctual drives. Id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. The id is the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth; it is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The id operates according to the pleasure principle, the psychic force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification of any impulse”. (Wikipedia). Sound familiar? Of course most are God given impulses to function and survive in this world. But to participate in them to excess is sin and death.

According to Freud; “It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations…. It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle.” (1933) This description could be used to describe hell itself!.

The “Ego”

This is a word that is readily known in the English speaking world. Freud describes it as; “It seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bring grief. The ego attempts to mediate between id and reality, it is often obliged to cloak the unconscious. The reality principle that operates the ego is a regulating mechanism that enables the individual to delay gratifying immediate needs and function effectively in the real world”.

In other words, the ego does not deny the Ids desires, it only cloaks it’s intentions. To get those desires, the ego plans and executes schemes, usually through deception. For example, an individual (id) may desire another person’s spouse, money and possessions. But because of the restraints of civil law, standing in the community or fear of bodily harm, the ego has to devise ways to obtain them for the Id.

“The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish,causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, being filled with envy,getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you
now as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not have a part In God’s kingdom”. (Gal 5:19-21 ERV)

The Overcoming Christian

The key here is “sinful self” which is called the devil in Scripture. Which is the love of self and the placing of self above others. God’s kingdom and every single aspect of His character is the complete opposite. Our power over temptation is found in God’s essence; Love. “We love Him because He first loved us”. (1 Jn 4:19 MKJV)

“In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought. He was like God in every way, but he did not think that his being equal with God was something to use for his own benefit. Instead, he gave up everything, even his place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form. During his life as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death–death on a cross. So God raised him up to the most important place and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. God did this so that every person will bow down to honor the name of Jesus. Everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth will bow. They will all confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and this will bring glory to God the Father. My dear friends, you always obeyed what you were taught. Just as you obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important for you to obey now that I am not there. So you must continue to live in a way that gives meaning to your salvation. Do this with fear and respect for God. Yes, it is God who is working in you. He helps you want to do what pleases him, and he gives you the power to do it. Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you will be blameless and pure, children of God without any fault. But you are living with evil people all around you, who have lost their sense of what is right. Among those people you shine like lights in a dark world, and you offer them the teaching that gives life. So I can be proud of you when Christ comes again. You will show that my work was not wasted–that I ran in the race and won. Your faith makes you give your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. Maybe I will have to offer my own life with your sacrifice. But if that happens, I will be glad, and I will share my joy with all of you”. (Php 2:5-17 ERV)

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The Temptation of Jesus – A Spiritual Interpretation [Luke 4:1-14] Part 1.

“Now filled with the Holy Spirit”.

Luke 4:1 ERV “Now filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan River. And then the Spirit led him into the desert”.

Jesus was “filled with the Holy Spirit”. He had conquered his Divine Human with the Divine Truth, virtue and operation which was with Him from the beginning. He was now beginning His mission as Savior God. The Creator God was about to place a mirror in front of humanity so they could see themselves as they really were. More revelation and truth were about to be released than previously in human history. Once they realized who they were, He would now show the entire universe His love and His redemptive plan for them to follow and learn.

Now Jesus left the Jordan River. The Jordan River is located in a low place. A river in Scripture means Divine Truth. Jesus had emerged from (baptism) at the Jordan River as Savior God. This is symbolic of the Word reaching to the lowest places of human kind and beyond. He was also the first born into this new church that was about to be revealed and formed. He was to be the head and leader. Col 1:18 “He is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning of everything else. And he is the first among all who will be raised from death. So in everything he is most important”.

It is just as a new born again believer who has been baptized (Jordan River) into the kingdom. John 3:5-7; “Jesus answered, “Believe me when I say that everyone must be born from water and the Spirit. Anyone who is not born from water and the Spirit cannot enter God’s kingdom. The only life people get from their human parents is physical. But the new life that the Spirit gives a person is spiritual. Don’t be surprised that I told you, “You must be born again”.

From there, He was “led into the desert”. This is symbolic of Jesus now proceeding to a new place in His church as Savior God. Specifically, to be where masses of Gentiles had not seen the illumination of God’s love and purpose. A parched desert devoid of Divine Truth as opposed to a thirst quenching river of the Word, He had just left.

Savior God was now in a place of temptation and pain.

Luke 4:2 ERV “There the devil tempted Jesus for 40 days. Jesus ate nothing during this time, and when it was finished, he was very hungry”.

Jesus was tempted “for 40 days”. Just as Moses went up into the mountain for “forty days” to receive the tables of stone. The flood was “forty days upon the earth”. Jesus was seen “forty days after he was raised from death”, He spoke to them about God’s kingdom. Jonah 3:4-5 “Jonah went to the center of the city and began speaking to the people. He said, “After 40 days, Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God. They decided to stop eating for a time to think about their sins. They put on special clothes to show they were sorry. All the people in the city did this, from the most important to the least important”. These examples all portray events before the Kingdom was presented to them.

Savior God was now displaying to all creation the sacrifice one has to endure to reach the Kingdom of God while on the earth. Jesus taught very plainly to His followers such facts; John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” Acts 14:22 “In those cities they helped the followers grow stronger in their faith and encouraged them to continue trusting God. They told them, “We must suffer many things on our way into God’s kingdom.” Luke 9:23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me”. And many more.

Savior God was in a place being pulled in two directions. The lure of the world and the promise of the Kingdom. This battleground was for the will and the mind.

This was also an illustration and illumination to the new church that He was forming. The previous church had relied on sacrifices and offerings to maintain a connection to the heavenly Father. Now, it was almost as if angels were starting their existence on the earth. Can the born again followers “stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me”.

Jesus led to Jerusalem

Luke 4:9 ERV “Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and put him on a high place at the edge of the Temple area. He said to him, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!

“The devil” led Jesus. The devil is the complete opposite of all kingdom principles as it is well known. The devil represents every thing of self love, and the evils that flow forth from that self love. Savior God was led into a place that represents an intensified battle for the will and the mind. This is primarily was an illustration and teaching to the new church that He was forming. This represents the born again believer as they ascend toward Jerusalem (Heaven) in their spiritual life.

The Brown, Driver & Briggs Hebrew definitions; Jerusalem = “teaching of peace”. We also know from Scripture, that Jerusalem represents in the highest sense the Church. We are told of the New Jerusalem (New Church) in the Book of Revelation;
Rev 3:12 KJV “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name”.
Rev 21:2 KJV “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”.

The born again person of the church is constantly in a battle of the mind while undergoing regeneration into the kingdom. Samuel Brengle called it “a war as real as the battle of Waterloo”.

Eph 6:12-18 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand Therefore stand, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching to this very thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”.

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