Journey Through the Book of Matthew
8 Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold angels came and ministered to Him.
Again the devil tempted Jesus. This time by bringing Him up to a high place and there causing to pass before Christ, all the glory of the kingdoms of the earth. Perhaps you like me have wondered where this took place. Some have speculated it was upon mount Nebo, the mount where Moses saw the plan of salvation pass before his eyes before he fell asleep. It was upon this mount that Michael the Archangel (Michael, another name for Jesus) and Satan had contended for the body of Moses. (see Jude verse 9) The Doctor and Historian Luke the writer of the third gospel of Christ says it was in a moment of time. (Luke 4:5) However this came to be, Satan has taken the gloves off and is pouring all he can into tempting Christ.
Christ who was to die on the cross was now tempted by Satan to worship Satan and in so doing Christ was to receive what was actually rightfully His. Christ was the creator of the world, but it was through the fall of Adam and Eve that Satan claimed to have replaced Adam as the lawful ruler of the world. (see Genesis 1:28; Job 1:6, 7) But Satan ruled as a usurper. Nevertheless, Christ did not directly contest Satan’s claim, and denied only that Satan had any right to accept worship. Jesus even spoke of Satan as the prince of this world, in recognition of his de facto rulership (see John 12:31; John14:30; and John 16:11)
Strangely enough he showed Christ all the glory of the earthly kingdom and man’s power in an attempt to change the role of Jesus from a spiritual Messiah to a political Messiah that would free the Jews from the Romans. A role the Jews would have accepted of Jesus. (see John 6:15 and Luke 4:19) because they were looking for a political Messiah and not a spiritual Messiah.
Even today in oriental lands, to show total respect is to bow or lay down prostrate before someone. This is a sign of total submission to the one you were bowing before. This was the type of posture that Satan was wishing to have Christ do in to worshiping him.
Christ was not impressed and then said to him “Away with you, Satan! For it is written “You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve” (see Deuteronomy 6:12; 10:20; Joshua 24:14)
Then the devil left Him and behold angels came and ministered to Him.
Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest. Yet within every human heart this controversy is repeated. Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan.
The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. They were urged upon Him in a much greater degree as His character is superior to ours. Yet even with the terrible weight of all the sins of this world upon Him, yet Christ withstood the test of appetite, the love of the world, and upon that the love of display which leads to an appetite for destruction . These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.
Satan had pointed to Adam’s sin as proof that God’s law was unjust, and could not be obeyed. In our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam’s failure. When Adam was tempted by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full strength of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden. Daily Adam was in communion with heavenly beings. It was not this way with Jesus. When He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan, already for four thousand years the mankind had been decreasing in physical strength, mental power, and in moral worth. Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only in this way could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.
God is always willing to send His angels to minister unto us in our greatest time of need. He will give his angels charge over thee.
Now when Jesus heard that John had been placed in prison . . . .