The Temptation of Jesus

Luke 4:1–13

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Three Gospels have an account of the temptation of Jesus, and these at the very beginning of His ministry following the baptism by John.

2.         Matthew and Luke report 3 temptations and each one has a political nature to it. The Herodians pleased the people by giving them food (bread), the Sadducees cooperated with Rome to retain their power, and the Pharisees were waiting for a miraculous miracle from Yahweh.

3.         40 days, maybe a rounded off number, but both Moses and Elijah fasted 40 days.

4.         In verse 3 is an ‘if clause’ and it means yes, you are the actual Son of God. In verse 7 the ‘if’ means, well, you may be. And in verse 9 again is another ‘if’ clause, 1st class condition meaning, and you are the Son of God. The devil knows.

5.         At the conclusion, after the third temptation, the devil left Jesus alone, but the word usage means that this was only for a period of time. There would be more.

6.         Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress” recounts how the devil hounded him. Can we expect anything less?

7.         Does it not seem that Satan is making a great effort right now to kill and destroy those made in the very image of God?

away death.

Who is Muhammad’s Gabriel?

The above is the title of my new book on Islam. Only 95 pages, priced as low as we could get it, the book is designed to facilitate bringing the message of Jesus to Muslims. Many of those raised Muslim remain so not because they are believers in it but because they have little choice. I am giving a copy of the book to Kareem, a special guard at the Jewish Community Center that Katie and I are members of. He is from Senegal, raised Muslim but rejects that religion. He is looking forward to reading the book.

The book will give you a good understanding of Islam as well. Please go to, hit “books,” type in my name, Kent Philpott, and you will find it.

Looking to Interview

Looking to interview, for one of our television programs, people who have been involved in such occult practices as The Akashic Records, Reiki, channeling, mediumship, the Tarot Cards, astrology, and other occult oriented practices, and have turned away from these and are now following Jesus. We are especially looking for those who have been what are called “life coaches.” If you or anyone you know fits here, please contact me at 415.302-1199 or

Gospel Meditation: Galatians 4:8–10

 Sons and Heirs

  1. In the churches of Galatia were both Jews and Gentiles. The Jews, though having believed in Jesus as their Messiah, still were tempted to observe the legal requirements of the Law of Moses, the days, weeks, years, the feasts, and so on. The Gentiles however, coming from a pagan background, worshipped all sorts of deities and spiritual powers.
  2. Now however, that they know and more importantly, are known by God, that is, have a personal relationship with God, they must not turn back to their old practices.
  3. Among these old practices are the “elementary principles” and Paul is referring to astrology, magic, and other occult oriented practices. And this is so relevant to our own day when we are in the midst of a revival of the occult arts including, mediums, channelers, astrologers, tarot card readers, the Akashic Records, Reiki, meditative yoga, and other psychic phenomenon.
  4. Paul would later write to the churches of Corinth, “what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons” (1 Cor. 10:20).
  5. Adherence to such practices makes one a slave, and in the Greek the word for slave is doulos, since this would bring a person under the control of demonic spirits.
  6. Paul then asks, do you really want this for yourselves?
  7. He is referring to deep repentance. Turning away from all the worldly philosophies and religions would be very difficult to do as it would mean losing so much, family included.
  8. We see the pastoral heart of Paul when he laments, “I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.” The plain rendering of the Greek here is, “I fear you lest in vain I have labored among you.” There is no “may” in the verse.
  9. Paul does not mean that by returning to the old pagan ways one would lose their salvation necessarily, but that it would present a dreadful situation. Paul knew from experience what he was talking about.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

(The server has been down all week and I was not able to send out a piece I wrote for MLK Day. But the server is back.

Hello Everyone, Today, Monday, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And I woke up this morning thinking I wanted to honor him and his work.

> I grew up in a black and white neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Many of my friends were black, all my baby sitters were black ladies, and right behind us lived a black family with a son my age and we were good friends, we played sports together, we boxed each other regularly in the ring my dad built in the back yard, and I knew nothing of racial prejudice.

> But this I encountered in Los Angeles when we moved there when I was 13 years old. We had gang wars then, whites versus the black and brown gangs, even Asian, I remember the Buddha Heads in Hollywood. I was in a number of these battles. And I do recall developing racial prejudice.

> While in the military, well sadly, it was very evident. The black airmen I worked with were resistant to this prejudice and I recall right now that I had some discussions along this line with one of the car pool drivers, an ambulance driver, while we would be sitting on the tarmac at Travis AFB waiting the arrival of an airplane filled with injured soldiers. We spoke at length about this and he did his best to help me understand things from his point of view.

> One thing I had to admit about myself is that I had developed racial prejudice, and I was mostly not aware of it. I think this is so for most of us. Over the years, in discussions with Christian friends who are black and or brown, is that they too developed racial prejudice. It simply goes with the territory and we have to come to admit it before we can begin to shed it.

> Dr. King, a Christian man, braved all this and stood up for what is right. He helped us come to grips with the sinfulness lodged deep within us and also to learn how to counter it. His message incorporated the second great commandment, love one another, even those who are our enemies. Wow, Jesus took it as far as it can go.

> Let us all take a hard look at ourselves and be ready to admit the racial, political, even religious prejudices we have lurking down in our hearts and minds. And then seeing this, come to our Lord in prayer and ask for forgiveness. And then ask for Holy Spirit strength to be loving and caring for our neighbor, and neighbor is anyone in our world. (By the way, religious prejudice will distort our evangelical outreach to these.)

> So let us honor MLK on his day and seek to love one another.

> Kent

The Genealogy of Jesus

Luke 3:23–38

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         The genealogy of Luke chapter 3 differs from that of the one found in Matthew chapter 1. Some have thought Matthew has Joseph’s genealogy while Luke has Mary’s. A better understanding of the differences may be that Matthew traces the royal dissent (kings or leaders at the time), while Luke gives an actual familial 8account. Still the differences in the two lists exist and without an explanation that satisfies everyone.

2.         Jesus was born about 5 BC and began His ministry at about age 28. It is not definite how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted. Some say 3 years, others 4, and some even longer.

3.         His crucifixion then would have been about 30 to 32 AD. We notice that in verse 23, Joseph is the son of Heli while Matthew has Jacob and not Heli. Reconciling the two genealogies will give one a big headache in no time.

4.         Jesus is not a mythological, magical entity like so many in the world’s religions. Jesus lived at a certain time, in a real place. He was born of a woman, died due to crucifixion, was buried then rose from the dead. And He did ascend into heaven and will return one day to judge the living and the dead.

5.         Jesus is the Son of God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And yes, no one of us, at least while on the planet, will have a clear understanding of it all. This is a part of what faith is all about. “We see,” as Paul said, “in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

Luke 2:41–52

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Faithful Jewish people were to be at the Temple in Jerusalem for Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles according to the Law of Moses, but in Jesus’ day, this attendance had slackened.

2.         Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were faithful in their attendance, and not a simple trip in those days. Likely a number of folks from Nazareth made the journey together.

3.         Jesus, age 12, and at age 13 He would be known as a “son of the commandment,” was not with His parents on the return home. This was not immediately discovered.

4.         Mary and Joseph rush back to Jerusalem in search of their child and find Him discussing large issues with some of the rabbis and other religious experts.

5.         After a mild rebuke from Mother Mary, Jesus let it be known that He had a growing understanding of who He was and what His mission was. And this, not unlike most pre-teen youngsters.

6.         The words of Jesus in reply to Mary are very revealing, “I must be in my Father’s House.” Though Joseph was His legal father, He knew His real parentage was far different. And how large was His view of the Temple there in Jerusalem, He refers to it as, “My Father’s House.”

7.         Mary, Joseph, and Jesus set out for the return home, and it is reported, likely by Mary directly to Luke, that He was “submissive” to them; Jesus was not a rebellious young man.

8.         Mary “treasured up” all that she had witnessed, all the while Jesus increased in “wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man.”

9.         Eighteen years would pass before the beginning of His public ministry.