Luke 4:5-8 – 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’ ”
Ponder the above temptation. The devil offers Jesus every kingdom in the world all at once. All he wants from Jesus is one momentary compromise. Jesus can have all the pleasures, all the treasures, all the honors those kingdoms can afford. All he needs to do is bow to Satan just once.
Of course we know that Jesus would not give into that temptation. Looking at it from our perspective, knowing who Jesus is and what was his mission, we are not surprised that he passed this test. He is perfect. He is God. He came to seek and save the lost. He would have all the kingdoms of the world eventually.
So, to rightly grasp the surprise, put yourself in this picture. What if Satan came to you and offered you every kingdom in the world? What if he offered you every power, every pleasure, and all the prestige the world had to offer. Would you go for it even if it cost you your soul?
Of course we say that we would stand up to the temptation, but do we? Satan often offers us pleasures, little tiny ones, and we bow to him, sinning against God to get them. These are the temptations to improper relationships, sneaky financial dealings, hidden gossip, unrighteous entertainment, gluttony, and so much more. One little pleasure is dangled before us. We know better. But, if we fail to have a God-centered, Scripture-filled, eternal perspective on our lives and our souls and our mission, we fail.
May we learn from our Savior who overcame our temptation. He was perfect where we will never be. We want to walk like Jesus. We want to avoid and battle temptation. We also need to thank Jesus that he took our punishment for our failure and gives us God’s Spirit to defeat our temptation.