When the devil had finished every temptation tempting Jesus *, he left Him until the next opportunity came.Luke 4:13
The two elements in this verse which stand out are “every temptation” and the next opportunity.
A survey of the translations taken from E-Sword give us an idea of the spread of meaning:
- (AMP) every [the complete cycle of] temptation, another more opportune and favorable time.
- (ASV) every temptation, a season.
- (BBE) all these tests, for a time.
- (CEV) in every way possible, a while.
- (EMTV) every temptation, an opportune time.
- (GW) every possible way, another time.
- (KJV) all the temptation, for a season.
- (LITV) every temptation, a time.
- (MSG) That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity.
- (YLT) all temptation, a convenient season.
It clearly doesn’t mean every temptation there could possibly have been. The likely meaning is every kind of temptation the devil could throw at Jesus. There are some who see this as being proof that Christ was tempted constantly for 40 days and the three that are listed in Matthew and Luke are only representative of the temptations used or are categories of temptations (which we will look at tomorrow in addressing Shelley’s suggestion). Whichever we opt for, the point is that Jesus was assailed by satan over this time in an attempt to get Him to fall to temptation. But remember God’s words on this topic through the mouth or pen of Paul.
No temptation has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. But God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it.I Corinthians 10:13
Christ didn’t resist the temptation in His capacity as Son of God, He resisted every (kind of) temptation in His being Son of Man. He used the whole of the Word of God, He knew Whose He was and what was His by right of possession and He went back to the Covenant of God to deal with what the devil threw at Him. Satan will throw everything at you too. He will use every way he can to tempt you. He knows especially those areas and temptations that are your major weaknesses. He will target them. Be prepared for it. More on this in the next Gem as we look at the link to the Genesis temptations of Adam and eve.
The next opportunity:
This indicates the devil merely retreated for his next “kairos” moment. His opportune time, or perfect moment with which to attack again. The devil is always on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for ways to attack. If that is true of the Son of Man it is true of the rest of Man; mankind that is. Don’t be surprised! Watch out for it. I am surprised how many of us ARE surprised by every attack of the devil. It is like we think “well I dealt with that yesterday and I called on the Name of the Lord and he fled. Why is this happening to me now, the next day?” It is the devil’s “next opportunity” to attack you. If he thinks he can attack your confidence and make you yield ground by attacking again in the next minute, the next hour, the next day, he will. Or he will wait a while and lay low and pretend he or his demons have gone only to reappear when you least expect it. The thief will not come when he knows you are ready for him, that would be foolish. But think about it. At times he reasons robbing you again the next day is probably what you least expect because he has just visited the night before. A perfect opportunity to attack. Or perhaps he thinks there is no point in trying to rob you again now because he has alerted you to his plan to rob you by his first attempt. Better to lie low and let you think any attack or robbery is unlikely. Once he has you thinking he has “gone” then it is time to rob you again. So too the devil.
Leaving for an opportune time does not mean that Jesus was now temptation free; nor are you temptation free. The next “opportunity” that Luke writes of is found in Luke 22:3 which satan attacks again. But in the interim others are used: the pharisees, those among His disciples, and the people. Temptation can come from any direction or any source. Satan will see to it. The temptations which are from the least expected source are often the most effective. There are always ways in which satan may muster an attack and there are opportunities whereby we ourselves give him an opportunity. He is lying in wait for you. Watch and pray.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.James 4:7
If you will not run when you feel fear, fear will run because it has seen faith.Joyce Meyer
An optimist is someone who falls off the Empire State Building, and after 50 floors says, “so far so good”.Anon
A word of encouragement during a failure, is worth more than an hour of praise after success!Rick Godwin