Dr. Lawrence Butler
The Bridge Church, Pembroke
This third temptation of Jesus by Satan will complete this series of struggles between the Christ of heaven and the “god of this world.” We have already identified the three areas of weakness in the hearts of humans and Satan has tried to attack through two of them.
John identified these three general areas as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Satan attacked the lust of the flesh by telling Jesus to turn stones into bread to save His life and ease the hunger pangs from 40 days of fasting. He then suggested that Jesus throw Himself off the pinnacle of the temple so angels would catch Him, thus proving Himself to be the Son of God, under the protection of angels, and yielding to the pride of the flesh.
After failing in the earlier attempts to ensnare Jesus, Satan now offers Jesus the kingdoms of this world. “Look at the glory of the nations,” he may have said.
“You will have more than Alexander the Great ever conquered, more than Emperor Tiberius has now,” he claims.
Look, worship me and all shall be thine, whispers the snake tempter. A small lure might tempt small men, but nothing less than all Satan could offer would move the heart of Christ. “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:6). Who gave Satan God’s world? The liar is telling the creator that His creation didn’t belong to Him (Christ), but rather claimed the world for himself. Jesus never even took the time to argue with the devil. He just stood on God’s Word and claimed the victory over temptation, never giving in to Satan’s deceitful suggestions. All Jesus had to do was worship Satan, but to do so was to deny that He was the Son of God and proclaim atan as God. This was the sin that caused Satan to be cast out of heaven in the first place, trying to replace the Father as God Almighty and Jesus would have none of it. He used the Word of God to repel the attempted lure of lustful eyes and said, “…Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8).
Jesus could have looked at this as an opportunity to complete His responsibility of reaching the world with less conflict if He had accepted the offer. He could bring universal peace, put down avarice, cruelty, slavery, and stop the future horrible wars. However, please be aware that all of Satan’s offers come with dreadful consequences. Of course Jesus knew this and would never betray the will of the Father. Certainly the best option was to be in subjection to the Father. The earth is the Lord’s and in His time He will establish a kingdom of peace. Follow the call of God for your life and never fall into the traps set by the “whispering liar.”