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Is the Devil in the Details?

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Since You Are the Son of God . . .

Sunday, we looked at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness in Luke 4:1-13. The devil challenged Jesus to use his status as the Son of God to meet his own needs rather than the needs of others.

Is the Devil in the Details? Jesus' temptation in the wilderness (Stock Image)
“Dude, this totally looks like something out of Inception!”

Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness

I have to tell you; I struggled with how to preach this one. The struggle was mainly because I’ve heard the story mishandled before and, honestly, I’m certain I’ve mishandled it myself.

One of the worst examples of the mishandling of this story is a longstanding debate about the devil’s temptation for Jesus to bow down and worship him. In Matthew’s account, we read, “the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me'” (Matthew 4:8-9).

Can you guess what the debate over those verses is? That’s right, the debate is, “What mountain did the devil take Jesus to?”

Was it Mount Everest? That’s the highest, but you can’t see all the kingdoms at once there. Was it just a hill in the desert where the devil gave Jesus a vision? Was it a real mountain or a figurative mountain?

That’s Not the Point

As the old saying goes, “The devil is in the details.” Sometimes we can get so caught up in the little details that we miss what we’re supposed to see in the Scriptures. The story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness isn’t about what mountain the devil took him to any more than it’s about what kind of stones make the best bread.

The point is about what Jesus endured for you.

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