Psalm 91:9-16 The Voice (VOICE)
9 For you made the Eternal [your][a] refuge,
11 He will command His heavenly messengers to guard you,
14 “Because he clings to Me in love,
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 The Voice (VOICE)
The Old Testament places a very high value on plans being brought to fruition. “Futility curses,” in which plans fail to reach fruition, are among the worst imagined in the ancient world. To prevent futility from happening, men are exempt from military service if they have not yet married their fiancées, if they have not enjoyed the fruit of a vineyard they have planted, or if they have not lived in a house they have built. Plans reaching fruition are cause for formal celebration and public acknowledgment of the Lord’s help. The fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob takes tangible form in the first crops from the new land, and this fulfillment calls for a ceremony of celebration and acknowledgment by each Israelite.
26 Moses: When you go into the land the Eternal your God is giving you to live in, when you’ve taken possession of it and are living there, 2 then take some of the very first produce you harvest from the land He is giving you, put it in a basket, and go to the place He will choose for His name. 3 Go to the priest who is serving at the time and say, “The Eternal promised our ancestors He’d give us this land, and I’m here today to acknowledge to the Eternal, my True God—I’ve officially settled in!” 4 Then the priest will take the basket from you and set it in front of the altar of the Eternal your God. 5 You will then testify in the presence of Him, “I’m descended from an Aramean nomad. The Lord watched over him everywhere he went. When he and his family moved to Egypt, there were only a few of them. But as they lived there as foreigners, they grew into a large, great, and powerful nation. 6 The Egyptians mistreated us and oppressed us. They made us their slaves and worked us mercilessly. 7 Then we cried out to the Eternal, the God of our ancestors, and He heard us. He saw that we were oppressed and exploited and mistreated. 8 He delivered us with overwhelming power, totally terrifying the Egyptians by testing them with plagues and showing He was the true God by doing amazing things to them. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And now I’ve brought the very first produce from the ground that You, the Eternal, have given to me.” Then present the basket to the Eternal your God, and bow down before Him, 11 and celebrate all the good things He has given to you and your household. Be sure to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town to the feast.
Romans 10:8-13 The Voice (VOICE)
8 But what does it actually say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”[a] (that is, the good news we have been called to preach to you). 9 So if you believe deep in your heart that God raised Jesus from the pit of death and if you voice your allegiance by confessing the truth that “Jesus is Lord,” then you will be saved! 10 Belief begins in the heart and leads to a life that’s right with God; confession departs from our lips and brings eternal salvation. 11 Because what Isaiah said was true: “The one who trusts in Him will not be disgraced.”[b] 12 Remember that the Lord draws no distinction between Jew and non-Jew—He is Lord over all things, and He pours out His treasures on all who invoke His name 13 because as Scripture says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[c]
Luke 4:1-13 The Voice (VOICE)
While genealogies may seem tedious, for people in many cultures (including Luke’s), genealogies are important and meaningful because they give a sense of identity and history. Luke places Jesus in the mainstream of biblical history, connected to King David, Abraham, Noah, and Adam. By connecting Jesus with Adam, and ultimately with God, Luke shows how Jesus is connected to and relevant for all people, and he may also be suggesting that in Jesus God is launching a new humanity, with Jesus as the new Adam. Unlike the first Adam, though, Jesus will be completely faithful to God, as the next episode makes clear. Perhaps echoing Adam and Eve being tempted by the serpent in the garden (Genesis 3:1–7), Luke moves from the stories of Jesus’ beginnings to His temptation.
4 When Jesus returned from the Jordan River, He was full of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit led Him away from the cities and towns and out into the desert.
2 For 40 days, the Spirit led Him from place to place in the desert, and while there, the devil tempted Jesus. Jesus was fasting, eating nothing during this time, and at the end, He was terribly hungry. 3 At that point, the devil came to Him.
Devil: Since You’re the Son of God, You don’t need to be hungry. Just tell this stone to transform itself into bread.
Jesus: 4 It is written in the Hebrew Scriptures, “People need more than bread to live.”[a]
5 Then the devil gave Jesus a vision. It was as if He traveled around the world in an instant and saw all the kingdoms of the world at once.
Devil: 6 All these kingdoms, all their glory, I’ll give to You. They’re mine to give because this whole world has been handed over to me. 7 If You just worship me, then everything You see will all be Yours. All Yours!
9 Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem, and he transported Jesus to stand upon the pinnacle of the temple.
Devil: Since You’re the Son of God, just jump. Just throw Yourself into the air. 10 You keep quoting the Hebrew Scriptures. They themselves say,
He will put His heavenly messengers in charge of You,
They will hold You up in their hands
Jesus: 12 Yes, but the Hebrew Scriptures also say, “You will not presume on God; you will not test the Lord, the one True God.”[e]
13 The devil had no more temptations to offer that day, so he left Jesus, preparing to return at some other opportune time.
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