Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me. Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. (Matthew 4:8-10)
Did You Know?
That Christ never did hear himself being called by the name ‘Jesus.‘ He was called Lord, Master, Rabbi, and Son of God by others.
Jesus knows who the Creator of the heavens and the earth is: His God and Father. He also knew who the god of this world is then and now! The expressions earth and world are not the same. The earth was created by God. He alone is its owner. The things men establish upon the earth such as kingdoms, cities, etc are worlds. For example, the world of Noah’s day existed upon the earth. That world was destroyed but the earth remains. The world in which we live today exists – by God’s permission – upon the earth. One day, this world will be destroyed, but the earth will remain. (See Daniel 2:44 and Ecclesiastes 1:4)
In this exchange with Satan the Devil, the Son of God is being offered something in exchange for something. What? Satan offers Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world and their splendor if he worships him!
This would mean that Satan the Devil is the creator and owner of all of the kingdoms of the world! Jesus did not say here at any time these things were not Satans to offer him. At John 18:36, Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world.
Jesus declined Satans offer and was emphatic that only God is to be worshiped and served. (See Deuteronomy 6:13)
So, one of the issues facing each and every one of us that will impact whether we reach the goal of everlasting life is worship. Satan wants to take that prospect away from us by duping mankind into worshiping him. How does he accomplish this?
By the kingdoms of the world and the things within them, their splendor. What are those things within the kingdoms of this world that would be their splendor?
The religious systems replete with the eye-candy, holidays, and rituals. The educational systems that work very hard to understand and explain what God Himself has created. The vast financial systems of the world that reap in trillions of dollars and can grant instant riches and notoriety upon anyone it chooses. The vast military complexes. To be admired and deified by billions.
Some call this selling one’s soul to the Devil. I believe there exist many in the world – individuals, organizations, and nations – who have wittingly and unwittingly entered into a pact with the Devil for fame, riches, and glory. They stand at the top today but tomorrow they become diminished and in ruins.
The teaching here by Christ is a valuable one: Satan, through the things of the world, will offer us the lofty things of this world in order to get us to wittingly or unwittingly worship him. He is the god of this world, so he wants to be worshiped as such. (2 Cor 4:4)
Money and power usually work in getting individuals to break loyalty and integrity to God and deeply entrench themselves with the things of this world.
Just keep in mind that Satan never rests. He will always tempt us with things that make us salivate and dupe us into worshiping him.
Many claiming to worship God and follow Christ play the game of justifying serving both money, wealth, and God. They are quick to say that God has especially blessed them. Yet, there are billions sick and starving in the world who they will not share their wealth with. If they do, it is nothing but crumbs so that they can massage their consciences.
Yet, one cannot serve riches, wealth, money, and God. One can only serve one alone as Jesus says.
My Master teaches …
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)