“For the second test he led Him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the devil said, ‘They’re yours in all their splendour to serve your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they’re yours, the whole works.’

“Jesus refused, again backing His refusal with Deuteronomy:

”’Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve Him with absolute single heartedness.'” Luke 4:5-8.

Really! Did the devil really expect Jesus to swallow this one?

Luke reversed Matthew’s order, putting this temptation ahead of the devil’s attempt to lure Jesus into a suicide jump. It seems that, as a third attempt to get Jesus to fall in line with his suggestion, the devil finally played open cards with Him. Was he that desperate to lure Jesus off course that he thought he could actually induce Him into falling down and worshipping him?

What was the prize if He did that? All the kingdoms of the world? But wait a minute – before we think that it was worth a little homage in secret, let’s examine the devil’s claim. Did he really own all the kingdoms of the world?

Firstly the devil only spoke lie-language. Jesus categorically stated that he was a liar and that the only language he could speak was lies. “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44b (NIV).

Lie number one: he does not own all the kingdoms of the world. If he doesn’t, who does?

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1 (NIV). The earth is the possession of the one who created it. It is His right to assign it to whomever He wills.

Lie number two: the devil does not have the right to give away what does not belong to him. “The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to mankind.” Psalm 115:16 (NIV).

For what purpose? Not to abuse and destroy as we are doing now, but to manage for Him. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in His own image…” Genesis 1:26, 27a (NIV).

Where does the devil fit into the scheme of things? His power lies, not in possession but in deception. Had Jesus capitulated to him, would He have become the proud owner of all the kingdoms of the world? Of course not. The devil would have become His slave-driver.

How was He to gain possession of everything the devil has stolen through deceit? “I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your Father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Psalm 2:7-8 (NIV).

Jesus had already gained the prize through obedience. By His submission to the Father’s will, He would confirm what was already true from before the beginning of time. He was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world,” Revelation 13:8 (NIV).

He would worship the Lord – pledge His allegiance to the Father alone. Sorry, devil, you lost that round too!

Categories: Bible Study Tags: , ,

Luella Campbell

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