Temptation – part 2

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Luke 4 verses 5-8 “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The first temptation has to do with Christ and what he is. “If you are the Son of God” (v 3). But this second temptation has to do with the devil and what he is. Notice verse 6: “I will give you all their authority and splendour for it has been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to.”

There is an element of truth in what the devil says at this point. This earthly realm is Satan’s playground and here for a while he wields great power. But even he admits that authority has been given to Him. It has been allowed to him; he is not the origin of power.

What Satan tried to do here was to present himself as someone to reckon with. Let me paraphrase it like this.

“Come on Jesus. I know you are a King, the Son of God. But you do not have to go the way of the Cross to rule the world. Put me into your reckoning and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world, for they are mine you know. They were given to me”.

And so it will be with us too. There will always be the temptation to take an easier route in our Christianity than the one that calls for the taking up of the Cross. We can hear the devil speaking to us today through the values of our society and the pressure to compromise and conform.

Jesus replied: “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

This insistent, uncompromising and conscientious commitment to the true God is what eventually sets Christ on His course to the Cross. But that very Cross is the event that would offer humanity the possibility of true freedom and hope for the future.

Remember our world is always bending the knee to the devil. They become annoyed with you when you won’t do so. Often you will be told you are unreasonable, close-minded, arrogant or ignorant or both. Remember nothing ultimately belongs to the devil. Do not give in and go the way of the world. It is the way of darkness and despair.

Satan’s promises are full of glitter – like all the kingdoms of the world he offered to Christ. See through the lie and worship God only.

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