How could the greatest Preacher of all time, preaching the most needed sermon, to His own people, from the Holy Scriptures, be not only rejected but threatened with death? The sin of our hearts runs deeper than we imagine. When exposed, it often lashes out. Simeon foretold that Jesus was “destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against” and we see his words begin to come true in Jesus’ hometown. But how will we respond to Jesus? Will we trust His lordship and receive His grace, or will we demand that He meet our expectations, to our great peril?
We often think of Jesus’ wilderness temptation as merely passive, but the Scripture says it was a God-initiated assault into enemy territory. Our Lord took His first step to seek and save the lost by drawing out our chief enemy and forcing his decisive retreat. Trusting in ourselves, there is no way we can stand against the devil’s remaining attacks. But trusting in our victorious Savior, there is no way we can fall.
Like a skilled lawyer, Luke has been building a case that Jesus is the beloved Son of God and promised Savior of sinners. At the end of chapter 3 he presents his most compelling evidence that Jesus is the Messiah: the voice of God Himself. We find that Jesus’ authority is rooted in His identity, which is confirmed in surety, so that we might grow in purity as we look to Him in faith.