In Luke 4:1-13, we have the section titled “The Temptation of Jesus by Satan”. This is a familiar passage that most Bible teachers (myself included!) have used to illustrate the importance of memorizing Scripture. Jesus is able to accurately quote Scriptures to successfully fight off Satan and his temptations. Interestingly, all three of the passages Jesus quotes are from the book of Deuteronomy.
I am sure Jesus could have zapped Satan with His finger, but that wouldn’t be an example that we could follow. Instead, Jesus uses the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, to do His fighting! (Ephesians 6:17). This is the Christian’s defensive weapon; we are to wield the word of God in such a way as to fight off Satan and keep ourselves from temptation and sin.
However, in Luke 4:9-12, Satan speaks to Jesus, quoting Psalm 91:11-12. Here we find that Satan has accurately quoted this Psalm, he doesn’t take it out of context, and he doesn’t try to make it say something it doesn’t mean. In Luke, Satan says these verses talk about the angels caring for Jesus and, if you turn to the Psalm and read it, you’ll find it talks about the angels caring for Jesus. In other words, Satan has picked up the sword of the Spirit and is using it as a weapon to tempt Jesus to sin!
Here is an important teaching to be on guard against people using Scripture. Even if they are accurately quoting the Bible, we still need to be fully engaged mentally and think through the message they are giving us. Bathe everything you intake with prayer! Sometimes it is easy to be gullible and think, “Hey, if that’s what the Bible says…” But here we’re shown to always be cautious. You’ve got to really know the Bible; a casual acquaintance is not going to cut it!