Satan took Jesus up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant, and said “All this power will I give you and their glory, if you would only worship me”. Satan must have known about Psalm2:8, for God had told Christ:
“Ask of Me, and I will give YouThe nations for Your inheritance,And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”
This was the desire of Jesus Christ, the inheritance of the nations. Yet Jesus, emaciated with hunger and dehydration, had set a guard on the doorway of His hearts’ desires. He responded with a rhema taken from Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20, which Christ had personalized into “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.” Jesus had submitted all His desires, fleshly or otherwise, to the Worship and Service of God His Father. There could be no compromise.
As Satan’s viewed all the kingdoms of the world, his focus was not upon the people, with their problems and needs, but upon the power and glory they held. It was the same allure that led him to revolt from God’s command in the first place. Satan had said in his heart: ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isa 14:13-14)
Perhaps that is why Satan misquoted Psalm 91 in his last temptation of Christ. He left out the Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ “derek“. He said the angels have charge over him, to keep thee, and they shall bear you up. But that totally changed the meaning of Psalm 91. In stead of being self-serving, the angels had a “higher way” in view. They had the purpose of Almighty God in view. For the angels are to keep him “derek” – “in the way”. They were to keep watch over Jesus to make sure God’s will was not thwarted. Jesus is the way, and He committed himself to following God’s will. Satan was attempting to thwart the will of God by tempting Christ to go his own way-the way of Satan. That is why Satan left that one word out, for he is the great Deny-er of God’s will. He left the path that God had for him, and now he wants everyone to follow him. He wants to be exalted, he wants the power, he wants the glory. Satan is overjoyed when we do not follow the path that God has for us, the path that He chooses. He loves it when we lean on our own understanding rather than God’s. For to follow our own way is to sit in the assembly of Satan, and to bow before him. To deny God His proper place as God of our life, is to welcome the death that sin condemns us to.
Satan focused on the power, the self-glory, and the pride in going your own way. Those were the reasons that led to his revolt. So why should they not work on God’s Son? Because he had not come to earth for those things. In fact, He had left the glory, the power, the splendor so that he could become a servant to mankind, to reach out and touch the needs of fallen men. Of course Jesus wanted the nations, but not without the people. He came not for power but for you and me. When Satan saw the kingdoms, he saw only the power. When Christ saw the kingdoms, he saw the people imprisoned by their sin. Christ came into this world arms outstretched, reaching, not for power, but simply to touch you and me. His desire is that we be freed from death to LIFE and to share in His inheritance, and that we share in the power of His coming Kingdom.
When Satan proclaimed his famous “I will’s”, he did so as he was reaching for the stars. Jesus proclaimed on the Cross as his arms were reaching out to the thief next to Him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Jesus reached not for power, but to take our sin upon him. Jesus reached not for kingdoms, but to be impaled by nails. Jesus reached not for power, but to be shamed by crucifixion upon the cross. Jesus reached for the Cross in order to touch us with His life!
Jesus had compassion on us, dead in our sin, and came to where we were, just as was said of the Good Samaritan: “he was moved with compassion, and came to him.” That is why Satan’s offer from on top the mountain did not tempt Christ. That may have been Satan’s desire, to ascend on high, but Jesus “came DOWN from heaven” so that all those who receive His Touch will receive LIFE and be lifted UP to heaven!
Satan came DOWN from heaven to lift himself UP. The only way he can succeed is to bring as many as possible DOWN! Now, which way would you rather be heading? Do you know the Savior’s TOUCH?
Prayer: Open my eyes and heart Father, to see how much Jesus Christ cared for me. May I turn away from following my own way, and welcome the touch of Christ, bringing new life and new purpose, following Your Path!