Jesus was strong enough against the devil to stand his ground. He knew that having all the splendor in the world was not going to make Him happy nor the type of king God had planned for.
Reference: v.9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: I love to eat! I have fairly simple tastes but the food I do like, I like to eat often. If a delicious food is open and in front of me, I struggle not to consume it all. When my friend and I would go for a run we would spend most of the time talking about what food we would eat for the rest of the day, or if we could choose any food in the world what would we eat. It was maybe a little counterproductive after our run, however it kept us going through the exhaustion. While I do love food, I know that too much is not healthy for me. I have to remind myself often: ‘everything in moderation’!
As Jesus was tempted in the desert the devil offered him many things. Food was the first temptation – I can totally relate there! However it was the third temptation that grabbed my attention. The devil took Jesus to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and said that it could all be Jesus’ if he was to bow down and worship him. This would have seemed appealing to Jesus. He could have justified having all the kingdoms quite easily. The prophets spoke of the Messiah being the mighty king, surely if he ruled over all the kingdoms of the world then he would be the king that they had foretold. However, Jesus was strong enough against the devil to stand his ground. He knew that having all the splendor in the world was not going to make Him happy nor the type of king God had planned for. He saw the temptation and yet showed will-power and dedication to God.
Application: We are often tempted by glamorous things in our own lives. It may not be the power over kingdoms but it could be power over a job or other colleagues. It could be the chance to get further in life at the expense of others. It may even be the temptation to spend your money on something that is not life-giving. Our world makes things so black and white; the world says, ‘If you are rich, attractive and popular then you have everything.’ And yet, if we are Christians then we know that following Christ is the only way to live life to it’s fullest (John 10.10). How should we then live? Loving God and loving others; as a servant to all; putting others before ourselves; treating others as we would like to be treated… It’s not really a lifestyle that brings fame and fortune, however its the best life to live.
Prayer: Lord, so often we get caught up in the temptation to be bigger and better than everyone else. Help me to see the way to live for You and not just for myself. Amen.
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.