Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. What does this mean?

Christ and the Devil's Temptations

Question: Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.  What does this mean?

Scripture: Luke 4: 1-13 “1And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” 9And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 12And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.” (English Standard Version (ESV))

Prologue: This question, which may to some seem basic or easy to answer, is yet very challenging in that there are so many misconceptions about Satan or the devil. Is he a real entity or is he simple a theme, concept or an archetype (prototype or model) or symbol? How any knowledge seeker answers that question in his/her own mental construct will decide what one believed about the Satan.  However, the biblical record is the unequivocal source, even in defining the devil.  If we use the Bible then we may center ourselves by it and provide the truth-seeker with a biblically correct response. 

It would not be a good thing to tarry long in answering the first sub-question that the seeker’s question evokes… Is the devil a real entity or an idea, or archetype, or symbol?  The answer is, yes. The devil or Satan is a real entity, who uses ideas, thoughts, machinations, movements, factions, powers of the air, principalities, signs, images, fake wonders and symbols to control and manipulate people in this world. 

Satan Tried To Tempt Jesus.

The approach being used by Satan in these current passages of scripture under study is temptation and questioning or otherwise convoluting what God has said and provided in scripture; a questioning of whether God has good intentions and if he really cares for us. Or has he simple left us to fend for ourselves by our empirical exploration and discovery of what he wants from us by our examination of the world and the things in it and made available for us; through our will and the choices we make and in the way we think about an idea or concept and how we perceive our thoughts.  I know that’s a lot to take in, it was intentional, but not to confuse, rather to show that it’s even more than can be written or easily understood for most, including the responder. Just know that the ploys of Satan are evil devices, in thoughts, words and deeds motivated by sin and fallenness.  The devil is …in form, persona, spirit and concepts the epitome of all hate, sin, death and destruction, aberrant thought and revolt against God; he is the antithesis (opposite) of godliness, love and the excellent things of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit. 

Satan is real, as we see from an abundance of passages from the Bible.  We also see that Satan knows somewhat of the Eternal Plan of God, in sending Christ His Son into this world to seek and save the lost; those captured by sin, as was Satan and a third part of the created angels were also, causing them to rebel against God, as also presented in the Holy Scriptures. 

Because of the fact that many seminaries, universities, Christian denominations and philosophies have mythicized Satan and fallen angels (demons), espousing only the thought and idea concept of Satan and demonic activity, it becomes necessary to show what the Holy Bible teaches and yes, what Jesus himself taught during his earthly ministry, concerning Satan and demons. 

Some of the many passages concerning Satan/the devil include:    

John 8:44 ESV {Jesus states} You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Matthew 25:41 ESV {Jesus states} Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Luke: 22: 31-31 ESV  {Jesus states}  “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

2 Peter 2:4 ESV    For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

Revelation 12:9 ESV    And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Job 2:1 ESV    Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.

Jude 1:6-7 ESV    And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 

1 Peter 5:8 ESV    Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 John 3:8 ESV   Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Part 2


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