In today’s passage, Satan presents Jesus with a prize – authority over all the kingdoms of this world. Matthew 4:8-9. This rule is not sinful in itself since the Messiah is promised reign over the nations Psalm 2:8. The problem is the means the Devil offers- worship of a false god, the evil one himself, can bring the son of David immediately to a position of authority in the world Matthew 4:9. Satan is tempting Jesus to take a shortcut and bypass the cross to receive the name by which every tongue on earth and in heaven will bow Philippians 2:5-11. John Calvin say this temptation is that,
‘Christ should seek, in another manner than from God, the inheritance that He was promised to his children.’
Adam failed this test. Instead of submitting to the Creator, he embraced godless autonomy. He ate the forbidden fruit so that he could be a law unto himself instead of looking to the Almighty to define right and wrong Genesis Chapter 3. God’s son Israel Hosea 11:1 disobeyed as well by going after other gods Exodus 32. However, Jesus will not make the same mistake. On a mountain He will declare that He has received authority but it will not be on the mount of temptation. No, it will be on a mountain after He is faithful to His Father’s will Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus will not avoid the Cross in His drive to regain the righteous dominion given to man Genesis 1:26, 27. He will not become an idolater Matthew 4:10. Thus Jesus triumphs over Satan [v.11]. This is goodnews for us indeed. In staring down temptation, Jesus experienced suffering, and thus He is able to help up when we are tempted Hebrews 2:18.
Coram deo: Living Before the Face of God!
Matthew Henry comments that,
the best of saints may be tempted to the worst of sins! though Jesus never sinned, Satan left the worst temptation of all for last – blatant idolatry. If our LORD faced such a test, we too cannot be suprised if we are tempted to do the worst. But take heart, for Jesus can strengthen us to defeat the enemy. When tempted, run to Him in prayer and study His Word so that you can resist the Devil.
For further Study:
You can read further in Genesis 39:6b-12