“Lord God, Father of Jesus Christ, thank You that Jesus, the Son of God, resisted every temptation of the Devil, so that in Christ I also can resist temptation, especially as I memorize and meditate on your Word. Give me the desire and power to do what Jesus says and so be a faithful disciple of Christ. As I trust You, remind me that I need not fear the future or any difficult circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Read Luke 4-6
As you read these chapters, ask how Luke’s words help us understand who Jesus truly is and who He came to save. Notice the divided response to Jesus’ words and works.
Luke 4:1–13 Like Adam and Israel, Jesus was tested by the Devil. Unlike Adam and Israel, Jesus resisted temptation and defeated him! Remember that at Jesus’ baptism, God the Father affirmed Jesus as His beloved Son. Immediately afterward, Satan challenges Jesus, prefacing every temptation with “If you are the Son of God…” The Devil twists the Old Testament, but Jesus answers him with true statements from God’s Word.
Luke 4:16–4:44 Who is Jesus? Jesus reads from Isaiah the prophet and then identifies Himself as the Savior-Messiah-Lord, full of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to come and preach the good news of deliverance, the year of the Lord’s favor. In 4:21, the Jews reject Jesus in his hometown of Nazareth. The same thing happened to Old Testament prophets. Jesus’ neighbors will not accept Him for who He is, but in Capernaum even the demons recognize Him as the Son of God (4:41).
Luke 5:1–16 Jesus then calls his first followers. Simon Peter recognizes Jesus as the LORD and says, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (5:8). When Jesus calls His followers, they leave everything, even a miraculous catch of fish, to follow him (5:11). Though He was not a trained fisherman, the Son of God knows how to catch fish! He is Wisdom itself, so He can be trusted with your business, studies, and situations.
Luke 5:17–39 Jesus begins eating with sinners and outcasts, the “bad people” of His day. Jesus is the Great Physician who has come to heal the sick and to call sinners to repentance. Power is flowing out of Him to heal all kinds of people and to cast out demons, even healing people from Tyre and Sidon—outside of Israel (6:7–19). Jesus has shown the good news through his actions, which fulfill Old Testament prophecies like Isaiah 61:1–2. He also teaches good news about the kingdom of God with parables and instructions about kingdom values.
Luke 6 Who is Jesus? He is the Lord of the Sabbath, and He alone brings true rest.
As He teaches on the plain, notice the four blessings and four warnings or woes. Jesus announces the radical values of the coming kingdom of God, a way of living very different from the world’s, a way of living that requires God’s help through the Holy Spirit. Life as Jesus’ follower requires living as if God were our King and Ruler, rather than remaining controlled by our sinful selves.
Luke 6:46–49 Jesus expects His followers to live according to these new values; just as there are two houses on two kinds of foundations, there are only two ways to live. The disciple who lives by God’s Word—doing what God says—needs not fear the future or circumstances. Psalm 1 talks about this, too.
46 Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
- Unlike Adam in the garden and Israel in the wilderness, Jesus triumphed over the Devil. He is the Lord and Ruler over all, the faithful One who keeps His Father’s commands. He showed His power over Satan, demons, and sickness, and He preached the good news of the kingdom of God. He demonstrated and proclaimed that God has come to rescue the world. Because of all this and more, we should pay careful attention to Jesus’ life and words; we should do what He says. Beware of those who twist God’s Word and tempt you to disobey God. Resist the Devil and temptations to sin by knowing and speaking God’s Word, even to yourself sometimes.
- In these chapters, we see Jesus’ followers recognize they were sinners in need of forgiveness. Recall Simon Peter’s words to Jesus in the boat. Remember Levi the tax collector, and also what Jesus said about God the Father being gracious to those who are ungrateful and evil. And yet, Jesus expects His followers to live differently than the world as they look ahead to a future, heavenly reward.
- Today, prayerfully ask forgiveness for your sins and ask God to help you do what Jesus asks; ask God for the help to live according to the values of the kingdom.
- Take some extra time to read Psalm 1 today. Read it aloud to yourself and then read it with someone else and talk about the two kinds of people described.
- Prayerfully read through this definition of a disciple and disciple-making, asking the Lord to continue to transform you.
THE 60 MINUTE WEEKLY CHECK-UP
Quality Spiritual Life:
- How have you experienced God this week? Do you sense His presence and peace?
- Has reading God’s Word been meaningful? (Why? Why not? Daily? Plan for next week?)Are you enjoying prayer? Describe your prayers. (praise, confession, gratitude)
- How is your relationship with Christ changing?
- How have you been tempted this week? How did you respond? (If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?)
- Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life?
- Are you walking in the Spirit? (What is one specific example?)
- How was your worshi and service in the local church this week?
- How have you spent time with non-Christians this week? (Have you shared your faith? In what ways? How can you improve?)
Faithful Household Life:
- What would your spouse/best friend/roommate say about you the past week? (state of mind, state of spirit, energy level)
- Where are you financially right now? (debts, sharing, saving, stewardship)
- How is it going with your wife or others in your household? (attitudes, time irritations, disappointments, progress)
- How is it going with the kids? (quantity/quality of time, values, education, spiritual warfare)
- What have you done for someone else this week? (service, encouragement, the poor, etc.)
Faithful Work Life:
- How are things going on the job? (career progress, relationships, work load, stress, problems)
- What have you done to play or relax?
- Are you spending the right amount of time with work? (too much? too little? adjustments needed?)
Healthy Character and Personal Life:
- Are your priorities in the right order?
- Are you honest in all your acts and words, trustworthy, and keeping confidences?
- Are you taking good care of your physical body? (exercising? eating right?)
- Are you sleeping well?
- Are you defeated in any part of your life? What are you wrestling with in your thought life? Do you have any fears at this present time?
- Is your moral and ethical behavior what it should be?
- What is the state of your sexual perspective? (temptation, fantasies, entertainment)
- Have you demonstrated a good attitude this week? (Have you been critical, irritable, grumbling, self-pitying, self-justifying?)
- Is the “visible” you and the “real” you consistent?
- Close the accountability check-up with ten to fifteen minutes of prayer.
- Focus on one concern of the week. Thank God for something special this week.