January 7th, 2022 – Luke 4:8

Verse of the Day Devotion  Luke 4:8  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'”  

I am starting 2022 by looking at verses that are specific quotes of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we will look at another mentioned temptation of Jesus. 

Now we move on to the second of the final three temptations Satan inflicted upon Jesus.  After Jesus told Satan that man does not live on bread alone, he proceeded to the next temptation. “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Luke 4:5-7. In this temptation, Satan seduces Jesus to worship him, and if He does He will give Him all the kingdoms of the world to reign over.  He essentially promised Him authority and power over all this world.  He claims he has the authority to give it to Jesus for it was given to him thus giving him the right to give it to anyone he wants to. 

Now there are various references to Satan having authority over this world.  Jesus declares him at one point to be the ruler.  “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.” John 12:31. However, there is something interesting about this verse.  Satan is the ruler, but only because man has rejected the true ruler, and God has been patient in this matter.  But a time will come when he is ‘cast out’.  His kingdom will be destroyed and his reign will cease. And the one who will reign will be Jesus.  And this leads us to another interesting thought.  What Satan was offering Jesus was something Jesus would attain anyway, but with one caveat. He must die for the sins of the people.  Therefore, what Satan was offering was what Jesus would attain anyway, but He would receive it then, without the need to die.  All He would need to do was worship him. “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Luke 4:7.

However, Jesus replied with the following in our focus verse.  “And Jesus answered and said to him, It is written, YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.“ Luke 4:8.  We see this verse also in the Old Testament. “then watch yourself, lest you forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.” Deuteronomy 6:13.  In this verse, Moses was telling the people that when they enter into the promised and they into great cities they did not build, where they have all good things,   where they have vineyards and olive trees they did not plant, but God provided for them.  When all these things happen, they must remember this is a gift from God, and they must remember and worship Him only in all things.   

What Jesus was telling Satan was that no matter what He was offered, He would not agree to this horrible proposal.  Only the Lord God, His Father was to be worshipped, no matter what anyone or anything offers.  And no other thing or person is to be worshipped because He is God Almighty. Theologian Peter Lange put it this way. “The Lord does not only publicly express the monotheistic principle, but shows at the same time that He will rather dispense with all the kingdoms of the world, however by right they belong to Him, than obtain them in an unlawful way.”

And this should be our way as well. Satan can and does offer us things if we, not necessarily worship him, but turn our worship and devotion away from the true God of the Heavens.  If we see anything in our life as more important or desirable than God, have we not done the same thing?  In today’s world, people and organizations are enticing us to turn to them and away from God to meet our wants and needs.  They promise much but we must not give in.  God has promised us eternal life with Him in a new heaven and earth.  All they can offer is something in this life, but in the end may deny us the eternal life promised by God.  I want to encourage us all to look to God for our needs and good desires, for He is the source of life, both now and in eternity to come.  “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

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