Sunday – February 11, 2018 – Read the Word on Worship
Word On Worship – Sunday – February 11, 2018 Download / Print
“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.”
Forty days have passed, during which Satan has tried nearly every kind of temptation. The final three temptations are Satan’s “best shot” at our Lord. The first temptation sought to induce our Lord to use His divine power to convert stone to bread. Satan is now about to employ the second temptation. What is it that he is trying to avoid, or to accomplish in this temptation? Satan undoubtedly knew that Jesus was the Messiah who had come to destroy him and to establish an everlasting righteous kingdom. Satan’s motivation is not very difficult to determine: Stop our Lord at all costs! And if Jesus could not be defeated by Satan, perhaps an agreement could be negotiated, whereby an alliance could be established, and the “kingdom of Satan” could be shared.
What “weakness” was Satan hoping to find in our Lord to which this particular offer might appeal? Satan was projecting his own fallenness, his own weaknesses, on our Lord. He expects that the same things that appeal to him will appeal to the Son of God. One of Satan’s primary ambitions is to “be in control.” We too have a desire to control which is so strong that we are willing to pay a high price to attain such control. While our Lord was willing to set aside His right to reign, so that He might pay the price for our sins, we are often willing to pay a high price to gain control or to keep control.
The issue of control, of having control and being in control, is very prominent in the Scriptures. The scribes and Pharisees were jealous of our Lord as they recognized they were losing control (Matt. 7:29). It was due to the fear of losing control that they constantly challenged Jesus about His authority. The disciples, too, were overly concerned with being in control. They argued one with the other as to who was the greatest (Mark 9:33-34). They were concerned with who would sit on the right and left hand of our Lord in heaven (Matt. 20:20-21). They wanted to use God’s power to destroy their enemies (Luke 9:51-56). They wanted to prohibit others from doing wonders in the name of Jesus (Mark 9:38). Jesus had to teach them that the greatest in the kingdom were those who were servants of all — as He was (Mark 10:42-45).
Throughout the New Testament we can see how the desire to exercise control can be used by Satan to promote sin. The Corinthians seemed to have a fixation on being in control, being in the group that had control, or having a leader in control. Husbands are tempted to abuse their role as leaders by dominating their wives in the name of biblical leadership. Elders can be tempted to lord over the flock. Individuals can seek to maintain control by demanding their rights. Women can resist the order established by God in the home and in the church by seeking to gain control, to lead where they should not.
Let us be aware of Satan’s presence in attacks regarding who is in control.