Well, at first glance we see that this is rather strange. Who is Satan that he could even offer such a promise? Could he really grant such a thing? After all, doesn’t God own everything? Yes and no. God created everything – absolutely. And He controls everything – absolutely. But Adam gave something away a long time ago. God offered Adam a theocratic kingdom – one where Adam ruled with God’s authority and control (Gn 1:28). However, because of Adam’s rebellion – yes it was rebellion – Adam relinquished his kingdom to that of Satan. After all, that is why we are all born into sin – into Satan’s kingdom. He is not called ‘Ruler of the Kingdom of the Air’ for no reason. We are there automatically. We have to want to be in God’s kingdom and make that choice. That is why the stakes are so high.
Therefore, Satan had the kingdom to offer. Why would Christ want it? That was the plan – to take back the kingdom that Adam had relinquished. Satan has always wanted to rule the world and has made several attempts in the past and will do so in the future. However, one of the goals of Christ is to take back that kingdom before this world ends and show that Satan is not the ultimate ruler. That is one of the main purposes for Christ one day to establish his Millennial Kingdom. So, here, we see that Satan was willing to give up all of that and ‘help’ Christ out – for a price of course. What was the price? To bow down and worship Satan. Would that be so bad? After all, Christ would not have to go to the cross, would not have to endure all of the pain and suffering. And, he would obtain the goal of taking back the Kingdom from Satan. But it was not a win-win scenario. There was too much at stake here. What would be ultimately lost? Sin would not be atoned, mankind would remain under Satan’s control and now even the Godhead would be under Satan. Unthinkable!
So what did Christ say? Jesus replied, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Mt 4:10; Dt 6:13). Again, Christ did not ponder the request. Christ knew that Satan was the father of lies (Jn 8:44). Satan, of course, always weaves in a few elements of truth to mask the lie. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish the lie from the truth. That is why Christ did not ponder, did not try to weigh the pros and cons. He knew Satan’s tactics and knew they were not worth considering. Christ stuck to Scripture; true, undiluted Scripture. We should too. Let’s take notice. We need to take Scripture at its face value and know that it is from God Himself. Let’s not try to reason and make it fit our desires. Let’s do the right thing and make our needs, desires, and emotions fit into what Scripture tells us. Then the same will happen for us and it did for Christ: “Then the devil left him” (Mt 4:11). We can be overcomers just as Christ himself was that day.
Was Jesus Really Tempted?
Biblical Paradox: Salvation
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