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Bible Gem 794 - A Matter of Two Kingdoms, Glory and Worship (Luke 4:5-8)

May 26, 2019

[Then the devil took Him up [to a very high mountain] and revealed to Him all the kingdoms of the world [and their glory]  in a moment of time.

"I will give You the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them," the devil said, "because they are mine to give to anyone I please

I will give it all to You if You fall down and will worship me." 

Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say, 'You must worship the LORD your God and serve only Him.'"] [Deut 6:13] (Luke 4:5-8)



When we are tempted / tested it is always a question of weighing up the pros and cons.  I stand to gain this but I will lose that. So this temptation / test comes comes down to a clear comparison of what one stands to gain and what one stands to lose. The verse quoted by Jesus is found in the section where the 10 commandments are spelt out and expanded on over 2 chapters. (Deut 5+6) The issue of worship, the central issue in this temptation, is repeated over and over in the passage. It is also a passage which is closely connected to the display of God's glory when Moses came down after receiving the ten commandments. In fact in Deuteronomy 5:22-26 the whole experience is repeated by Moses to remind them all. Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world; his to give away it seems. Jesus doesn’t challenge his statement "they are mine to give to anyone I please." Indeed the kingdoms of the world are in the grip of satan. He says, "I will give it all to you if . . . "


The Comparison:


What you get:

The Kingdoms of this World            The Kingdom of God


All the kingdoms                              The Kingdom of heaven/all creation

The glory of these kingdoms           The glory of God and His kingdom

Authority over the said kingdoms    All authority in heaven and earth


What you give: 

Worship Satan                                 Worship God only



The contest has been called off. There is no contest after the weigh in; to use boxing analogies.  It is like a heavy weight champion against a child from little league. There is no comparison; they are unevenly matched. How could Jesus even for one nano-second consider the possibility, knowing what He knows?  Why should we even for two nano-seconds consider the possibility?  


Considering the prizes at stake. 


The kingdom of God and all of creation, including heaven and earth and under the earth. In comparison with a kingdom destined for destruction whose glory will fade like a flower. Come on.

The glory of God, that same glory which when dimmed down to an afterglow was still sufficient to set Moses face shining for ages afterward such that the Israelites had to ask that he cover up. That glory is at stake. In comparison with the glory of gold and riches which will rust and decay and which will certainly not last beyond the grave. 

The authority of our God and of His Christ, which is unsurpassed and which is total and all encompassing over everything that has been created by the Word of His mouth. That authority which has no equal. The authority which is based on truth and grace and the Word of a God who cannot lie, sealed in His Holy Spirit as a guarantee of that which is to come. Compared with the shaky authority of a liar whose fragile power is granted to him by the All Powerful One for a season.    


Is it becoming clear now or must I go on? I think you will agree it has been declared a no-contest. 


Before the Comparison above I left the sentence before it hanging . . . I will give it all to you if. . . The strength of the construction is such that "the give it to you" is premised on the if you. . . The if is in the emphatic position. In other words it will be done, I will give it to you if you fall down and worship me. If you prostrate yourself to me and bow down. Oh yes Matthew includes fall down and worship. Luke doesn’t but the word "worship" [proskuneo] contains the concept of prostrating oneself. Bowing down in honour to the superior one whom we worship. There is never a question as to whether satan has the right or the authority to give the said kingdom. He does. What he says is right. But to bow down and submit to him; for the Son of God to prostrate Himself to a rebellious created being of His Father would be unthinkable. 


The sense of prostrating oneself in worship can contain the idea of just for a moment in time. Just bow down and do it one time. Like the element in verse 5, for a moment in time.  If Jesus had given satan his allegiance for just a moment then He would have worshipped someone other than God only.  The same is true of you. Satan wants you to give him your allegiance even if just for a moment. But when and if you do you forfeit the whole.      


Satan wants the glory and the authority and the worship. That is the basis on which his rebellion began. But his days are numbered. He is in his death throes. He was then, at the time of the last contest with the Holy Son of God. How much more is he now destined for a fiery end and his kingdom he is offering doomed to be burned up with fire at the end times.     



There are 100 billion galaxies. Why so much space for so few earth dwellers? The heavens are telling the glory of God not man. John Piper


Our problem is that we go from toy to toy rather than from glory to glory. AW Tozer


Your power to resist temptation is proportionate to your submission to God. A R Bernard


The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender. William Booth


It Is Impossible To Become A Man In Authority Until You 1st Become A Man Under Authority. Robb Thompson


Never Take Authority Over That For Which You Are Not Responsible. Robb Thompson





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