Visiting New York City is an incredible experience. The sheer height of the buildings, the historical locations, and cultural impact this city has on our nation. At considering this view I am amazed to think of that some of the most powerful people and wealth that is hard to imagine is represented here. It is like here that Jesus was tempted.
Jesus Temptation. The first temptation was to worship Satan in exchange of all the kingdoms of the earth.
Luke 4:5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him[d] all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
This in the corporate world would be the fast track to the top. Glory for now. Yet Jesus being God is not tempted to worship. There is no desire in Him to worship but only to obey His Father. From a human perspective this power and glory would be so irresistible to our sinfulness that apart from God’s grace we would succumb. For even in the end times it says that: “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect(Matt.24:24).”
Jesus overcomes by the Word of God. After this temptation Jesus rebuked Satan saying: “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Michael the archangel didn’t even bring a rebuke to Satan except saying the “Lord rebuke you.” By the Word we find that Jesus rebuked Him.
Jesus, an example to our temptations. When we are tempeted to sin we must look at Christ as one who gives us strength to endure temptation. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” This is not to say that he wanted to sin for “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone (James 1:13.” But rather He understands the frailty of the flesh having walked among us in the “likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin”(Rom. 8:3). Thankfully we have God who will give us strength to endure temptation.
Friend. I hope for both you and me that if we ever look off a precipice of temptation so high that we would over come the evil one. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Rev. 12:11. May we strive against sin lest we fail to win the prize.