We are now in the third temptation of Jesus that is recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. And in this temptation, Satan drops all pretense and allows his true nature to emerge. He no longer tries to get Jesus to move outside of God’s will by either meeting His own needs (turning stones into bread) or trying to force God’s hand (jumping off the pinnacle of the Temple). Instead, Satan now suggests he can offer Jesus exactly what His Father has promised Him, a kingdom, but he can get it to Him quicker and without any suffering. Look at how this temptation unfolds:
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9)
Luke’s account adds a few more details:
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 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. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)
Which raises a few questions.
Somebody Hasn’t Thought This Through
For one, Luke records Satan saying the kingdoms were given to him and he could give them to anyone he chooses. But who gave them to Satan so he could then offer them to Jesus? If the answer is the Lord, then isn’t Satan trying to tempt Jesus with something that ultimately belongs to Him by right of creation? It’s like he was saying, “If you worship me, I’ll give you what you already own.”
And two, if Jesus refused to compromise in making bread out of stones, why did Satan believe He would compromise on something like this? Who didn’t eat their Wheaties today? Somebody hasn’t thought this through.
There is so much more here than meets the eye.
So let’s take a look at it together, shall we?