(page 106 of Standard Edition)
Learning From Jesus
There is no better and more inspiring example to follow than Jesus
Christ. He was familiar with the Scriptures, and was willing to follow
the written Word of God and abide by it.
Read Luke 4:4, 8, 10–12. How does Jesus use Scripture to counter
Satan’s temptations? What does this tell us about how central the
Scriptures must be to our faith, especially in times of temptation?
Jesus knew the Scriptures well. He was so intimately familiar with
the Word of God that He could quote it by heart. This familiarity with
God’s written Word must have resulted from precious quality time with
God in studying the Scriptures.
If He had not known the exact words of Scripture and the context in
which they appear, He could easily have been deceived by the devil.
Even the devil quoted Scripture and used it for his own deceptive pur-
poses. Thus, just being able to quote Scripture, as the devil did, is not
enough. One also needs to know what else Scripture has to say on a
subject and know its correct meaning. Only such familiarity with God’s
Word will help us, like Jesus, not to be fooled by God’s adversary but
to be able to resist the attacks of Satan. Time and again we read about
Jesus opening the minds of His followers to understand Scripture by
referring them to what “is written” (Luke 24:45, 46; Matt. 11:10; John
6:45; etc.). He assumed that those who read the Scriptures can come to
a correct understanding of its meaning: “ ‘What is written in the law?
What is your reading of it?’ ” (Luke 10:26, NKJV). For Jesus, what was
written in Scripture is the norm that we should live by.
In John 7:38, Jesus—the Word of God made flesh—referred His
followers back to what Scripture said. It is only through the Bible
that we know that Jesus is the promised Messiah. It is the Scriptures
that testify about Him (John 5:39). Jesus Himself was willing to
abide by the Scriptures, the Word of God committed to writing.
If He was willing to do that, what does this tell us about what we
should do, as well?
What has been your own experience with using the Scriptures in
your battle with temptation? That is, when tempted, did you start
reading the Bible or quote Scripture? What happened as a result,
and what have you learned from that experience?