7610 - Second Temptation

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Resisting temptation is so important in each of our lives, and it was even more important in the life of Jesus.

In our study of Luke we are carefully looking at the temptations which the devil laid before Jesus, seeking to compromise his sinless, perfect character. Today we will focus on the second of this series of three battles. Listen to Luke 4:5-8:

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 splendor, 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.' "

This passage is an awesome display of the devil and his evil character in stark contrast to Jesus and His yielded, trusting character.

The devil comes from a distant past in heaven where he was trusted as one of the leading angels serving God. But because of pride he fell from that position and was banished to the realm of earth. Now he is referred to as the Evil One, the Prince of this World, but most usually he is called Satan or the devil. He now is epitomized as evil ¬– is the embodiment of evil forces. He is noted for his deceitful, lying nature, for being an accuser of the brethren, a murderer.

Although Jesus has always co-existed with Father God, His life in a human body had been about thirty years when this scene in Luke 4 unfolds. Jesus continues to be divine, the Son of God; but, for His ministry on earth He willingly limited His weapons of warfare to those which God makes available to every child of God –– first the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit to minister in and through this life; and also dependence upon Omnipotent Father God who is always with us to guide, direct, protect, and to bless. Furthermore, Jesus in human flesh was without sin.

Thus Jesus stood in opposition to Satan there in the wilderness for forty days. The Bible gives us three revealing samples of the devil’s temptations.
The second of these temptations, as recorded by Luke, was for Jesus to worship the devil. He actually invited Jesus to join his rebellious cause against Father God.

He tells Jesus that the kingdoms of the earth have been placed under his influence and dominion. When Satan lost his high position in heaven he was deported to earth and given dominion here. Therefore, in deceit, his offer to Jesus was hollow.

But the intense desire of Satan was to have Jesus join his camp, to bow his heart and worship this fallen angel, to actually become an enemy of Father God.

Praise God, Jesus remained faithful to His heavenly Father. In response to Satan, Jesus used the ultimate tool given to men, the Word of God. He quoted Scripture. (Deuteronomy 6:13) “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”

Just days before this confrontation with Satan Jesus had heard Father God say from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased,” as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove after His baptism.

After such a declaration of love and affirmation, the devil clearly evidences his deceptive, evil nature to seek to lure Jesus to join his rebellious cause.
But that lesson finds application in the life and heart of every Christian. How can we fall for the devil’s lies so easily. Let us keep our minds and hearts focused on things of heavenly impact, and not on those things limited to earth (Col. 3:2).