In The Word

Read Luke 9:37-56

On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.

But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.

The Test of Greatness

An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side,and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”

John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”

When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word

No one is immune from the temptations of the flesh, not even those that literally walked with Jesus. We seem to have a euphoric vision in Christianity that if we can just get right next to Jesus, we will not be tempted by fleshly desires. That is just not true. The disciples struggled with the same thing. They tried to cast out a demon with their own power. They were trying to elevate their personal statuses; they were jealous of others who were in their circle, and they even wanted to destroy those they were mad at. But in each account, Jesus reprimanded them to the point of rebuking them. Why? Because the disciples wanted the glory for themselves. They were so unconscious of their flesh that the presence of Jesus Christ did not stop them from pursuing their desires.

Temptation is not sin. We all are tempted, even Jesus was tempted three times. We sin when we allow our flesh to pursue that temptation, including the thoughts in our mind.

We overcome temptation by denying the flesh. Jesus denied the actions of the disciples. The Holy Spirit acts in the same way today. He is here to correct us, guide us, and even rebuke us, but we must be willing to deny fleshly compulsion. Do you feel overwhelmed by temptation? Deny the flesh of any satisfaction. Allow the Holy Spirit to empower you not to be overcome, but to be an overcomer. It is only by turning to God and the power of His Holy Spirit that we can resist the desires of our flesh. Be an overcomer and deny the flesh.

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