Verse: Matthew 4:8-9
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

For context here, we’re jumping back into when Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. In these verses, we hear what the enemy is saying to Jesus to try to tempt Him to sin.

Satan tries to tempt Jesus by saying he will give Him all the kingdoms of the world, inviting Him to short cut around the cross. Jesus willingly went to the cross so that He could save us from the devils domain, to offer us a kingdom with the Lord. The devil is tempting Jesus to avoid all the bodily pain involved in the cross and still get what He ultimately wants. Satan says all you have to do is “fall down and worship me”.

When I read this, it’s easy to think “of course Jesus says no, He’s Jesus”… but actually pause and think about this logistically. Can you imagine knowing that you will have to endure literal torture, that will ultimately result in your death, and it could be avoided? Can you imagine if someone gave you a lifeline and said you didn’t have to endure all of that, but you can still have what you ultimately want in the end? The stipulation is just choosing to worship someone else. You’re probably like me and want to believe you’d choose God over everything, even in light of extreme torture and death, without question. But honestly, it would be so hard to endure wandering around the wilderness without food and water for 40 days, then still be strong enough to endure this level of temptation. That’s why Jesus is different. This is why Jesus endured all of this, to show us His perfect character in light of the hardest temptation that’s ever been faced. He is perfect and able to withstand temptation in a way that we cannot. He has also faced temptation and understands what it feels like for us to be tempted by the enemy. He can sympathize with us. Through relationship with Him, we have access to His supernatural character, allowing us to cling to Him and to endure temptation.

Lord, thank You for Your reminders and using Your Word to speak to me. Thank You for showing me the incredible life Jesus lived on earth. His character is a hope that I can cling to, for hope to endure temptation when things are hard. God, you see me and know when it is hard. You know when I want to give up. Help me to cling to You and find strength in Your name, and from stories like this. I love you lord, amen.

Author: Becca Artymenko