eMeditation on the Bible 


Question: What test did Jesus pass before he began his special work for God? 


Story (Luke 4:1-13, paraphrased) 

After Jesus was baptized, he prepared for his special work for God by being tested in the desert by the Devil (the image of temptation in the Bible, also known as the Tempter). Jesus was tempted to use the power and authority God had given to him in ways that are contrary to the core values of God’s family which are based on God’s primary nature of love. 


First, the Tempter told Jesus to turn desert stones into bread to satisfy his hunger. Jesus replied that he would only use God’s power to serve God by serving others. Then the Tempter took Jesus to a very high place to show him all the kingdoms on earth. The Tempter told Jesus that he could achieve power over the whole world if he would be loyal to the Tempter. Jesus replied that he would not do anything to compromise his loyalty to God. Jesus said that he was committed to “be loyal to and serve God more than anything else.”  


Finally, the Tempter took Jesus to the highest point on the temple, which itself was very high and on a mountain. The Tempter told Jesus to jump and God’s angels would rescue him while the large crowd of people watching below would be amazed and Jesus would become a great celebrity with total control over the public. Jesus replied that God’s power and authority are not given to get fame and control over people.


After these tests, Jesus was ready to serve God by bringing the rule of God’s love to the human family. 


General Principle 

Jesus showed us that when we live by God’s core family values based on God’s love:  

(1) we serve the needs of others instead of focusing exclusively on our own needs and desires;  

(2) we honor and please God instead of compromising our integrity and virtue (to reach our goals;  

(3) we entrust our life to God instead of advancing our goals by controlling others.  


During his career, Jesus always trusted God to guide him as he brought honor to God by serving others as he lived according to the core values of God’s family based on God’s nature of love. 


Personal Application 

Jesus is our model for how to live in God’s family as a spiritual son or daughter of our heavenly father. When you follow Jesus, you grow and mature spiritually to become united with God in God’s primary nature of love. 


Respond by Growing

Live according to the pattern of Jesus. To live in this way, change your way of thinking and behaving from self-centered to God-centered; specifically:  

(1) Entrust your life to God.

(2) Honor and please God by loving and serving others. 

(3) Live without compromising the core values of God’s family, which are love expressed through compassion, justice and serving needy persons.