- It is easy to get caught up in the negativity surrounding the news cycle these days. For a change of pace, what are you looking forward to this summer?
- This week we are exploring the temptation of Jesus. When it comes temptation, what is your light (relatively harmless) temptation? (For instance, is it chips and salsa, shoes, eating a whole sleeve of Oreos, binging the Kardashians, etc)
SCRIPTURE ENGAGEMENT—Read Luke 4:1-13
- What stands out to you?
- What questions/confusion does it bring up?
- When you examine Jesus’s life, you find that he made a number of spiritual practices high priority/habit. What spiritual practices do you see Jesus engaging with in this story?
- Why do you think Jesus made these practices (prayer, fasting, scripture memorization, etc.) such a high priority? Follow-up question: Was that Jesus just being Jesus or are these practices that should be implemented in our life as well?
FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS
When it comes to fixing our eyes on Jesus, the story of Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness reminds us . . .
- God Can Lead You to a Place of Dryness, Loneliness, and Challenge
- The Devil is Real
- Temptation Can Be Simple or Sophisticated
God Can Lead You to a Place of Dryness, Loneliness, and Challenge
- In this story, we see Jesus being led by the Holy Spirit into isolation in the wilderness for 40 days. . . . to a place of dryness, loneliness, and challenge? How does this story counter the narrative of the “prosperity gospel” that claims if you become a Christian your life will always be great?
- How should we approach times of dryness, loneliness, and challenge if it is true that they are an important part of our spiritual formation? What questions should we be asking during these times? What should we be looking for?
- Respond to the following quote: “Following Jesus is not a ticket to the easy life, it is a ticket to the full.”
The Devil Is Real
- How has your conception of the devil changed over your life? What do you currently think?
- In Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis said, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
In your own life, Which error are you more likely to lean towards? What makes you say that?
Temptation Can be Simple or Sophisticated
- Looking back at our story, were the devil’s temptations to Jesus simple or sophisticated? What makes you say that?
- What do you think the devil is trying to do by tempting Jesus? After all, would it really be a “sin” for Jesus to turn a stone into bread?
- Jesus is historically held as fully human and fully divine. If we consider this story from Jesus’s human nature alone, why do you think that Jesus was able to push back and stand firm against the devil’s temptation?
4. How can the story of Jesus’s temptation in the desert inform our own lives? In other words, what actions (if any) should this story inspire?
Close in prayer