Jesus Answered (Part Three)

LUKE 4:1–12

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here.” For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”


The word for Jesus “answered,” in Greek, literally means that Jesus “responded to the present, now, current situation.” In other words, Jesus was in a moment of challenge, and he had an immediate response.

Delayed responses to God mean disobedience, according to the Scriptures. Delayed responses to the devil mean acquiescence.

In the former case, a delay in obedience means that we are trusting ourselves more than God and believe that delaying a response of obedience will enable us to escape suffering in our discipleship (the second temptation all over again).

In the latter case, a delay when facing temptation means that we are trusting ourselves more than is wise, allowing the enemy to get a foothold in our hearts. We are called to turn from evil (Ps. 34:14, 37:27; 1 Peter 3:11), to run from evil, so we don’t give it a second chance to grab ahold of our desires.

Second Peter 2:20 suggest that if we delay in refusing what the enemy is offering, we can do virtually irreparable damage to our souls: “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.”

I remember a moment right after coming to faith at university that an old temptation came my way. In the moment it was presented, I felt that old, familiar draw to take the bait and welcome the pull for a little while.

But the Spirit helped me with a single word: run.

It was loud in my spirit; it came as a command rather than as a suggestion or quiet intuition.

I didn’t excuse myself; I didn’t try to make small talk to remove the awkwardness of the situation. I just turned and left. I am so glad I did. A vortex of hell was waiting for me, and Jesus spoke to me later: “We’ve come too far to go back.”

We can recount circumstances in our lives when we failed to answer, quickly, in the moment, and have either faced repercussions we wish we had avoided or missed opportunities to convey God’s love in a powerful way.

When God speaks, answer quickly. When the devil speaks, answer quickly. A delay can cost us more than time.


Lord of the Wild, we fear in moments of obedience or temptation that we will be out of control. Minister to our spirits so our trust leads our indecision and lead us to faithfulness. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Can you recount a circumstance where you delayed obedience, and experienced a missed opportunity? What happened and how did you return to obedience?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt

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Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Say yes to Him, and no to sin! Both call our names. You are so valuable; they are vying for your soul for eternity.
    Sin pushes.
    Sin lies. It loves to paint a pretty picture in our heads that becomes a tangled web of guilt and shame for our souls.
    God leads.
    God is the truth. He takes our hand. The webbing slides off, and we become entangled within His caressing arms.

    Lord, I know you will never let go of me. I pray I never allow any enticing choices to push me away from You. May I always hold tight to You, and You do for me.
    Staying 💪’n Christ

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