Three kinds of temptation, part 2

Re-read: Matthew 4:1-11

“All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:9

The final temptation the devil has for Jesus is, in some ways, the most basic. In other words, the kind of sin that leads to all other sins. He wants Jesus to worship something besides God and to take God’s power and glory for Himself.
The devil offers Jesus the power and glory of the whole world, the kind of power and glory that belongs only to God, if He will just worship the devil. Jesus had intentionally put off His power and glory to be like His people, and grabbing it back on His own instead of waiting for God to glorify Him through His death and resurrection wasn’t God’s will. It also would have been placing His faith and hope in a lie; the devil promised Jesus the whole world if Jesus would worship him, but the world didn’t belong to Satan in the first place! It belonged to God.
Almost any kind of sin originates in a similar kind of temptation. The devil says God’s will isn’t important; we can get the same results by doing something else. Sound familiar? It’s the same lie the serpent told Eve in the Garden of Eden--he questioned whether God really told Eve not to eat the fruit and said that eating it would make her like God. The devil doesn’t have the power to give good things. Idolatry, blasphemy, and disrespect are also sins of taking glory and power that should be God’s and placing it somewhere else.

Questions for discussion and reflection

  • Are you trying to get God’s promises without doing things God’s way? How?
  • How can you follow God’s will instead?

Dear God, help me do Your will, Your way. Make me want Your glory and power to be more important than mine. In Jesus’ name, amen.