By Ellen Ceely
"And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.”’” – Luke 4:5–8
Everywhere I turn, there are things I disagree with. Admittedly, sometimes I even engage in fruitless disagreements with people who are just baiting me. This conflict is especially true online, where civility is often left by the wayside, and it’s easy for all of us to forget there are real, living, breathing people on the other side of the screen.
In today’s passage, the devil tempts Jesus and professes some huge lies. He baits Jesus with statements that are obviously untrue. Nowhere does Scripture say that God handed the world over to Satan. Nowhere does Scripture tell us that Satan gets to be in charge. Most of Scripture tells us the opposite: God is the one who decides the way things go (Ephesians 1:11). The Creator of the universe is abundant in power and calls the stars by name (Psalm 147:4–5).
The devil’s statements are false, but Jesus chooses not to argue with him. He doesn’t sit down and explain how everything he just said is a lie. Jesus knows that it’s futile to argue with Satan. Nothing Jesus can say would lead to Satan’s repentance or change of heart. Instead, Jesus resists the temptation set before him: to worship someone other than God. Arguing will do no good, so Jesus doesn’t argue. He simply states the truth from Scripture: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only (Deuteronomy 6:13).
When you face temptation, what lies do you face? Maybe it’s lies about yourself and your self-worth, or about someone you’re interacting with. When temptation comes along, ask God to help you wade through the lies and set your mind on Christ (Colossians 3:1). Temptation and lies promise us something we desire if we’ll just believe and give in. Lean on Jesus and remember that he understands. Ask him to remind you of the truth in Scripture and worship God alone. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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