“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 4:7-8)
After Jesus was baptized, he went out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. The devil came to tempt Jesus at the end of his 40 day fast. The devil must have thought that Jesus was weak at this point and ready to fall. It was a great opportunity for him to tempt Him and trip Him up.
The temptations that the devil used to try and trap Jesus show us that he may not really have known who he was dealing with. Jesus was not able to sin, but Satan did not know this. The incident shows that Satan has a command of scripture as he can cite it from memory. Though he could not fool Jesus, he can and often does fool us. As with Jesus, he tempts us when he thinks or perceives us to be weak and vulnerable. He tempts all people with the lusts of the flesh. But sometimes, with Christians he often uses a more subtle form of temptation, one that uses God’s word to justify fleshly and selfish behavior. If we can use Scripture to justify such actions, it may seem as if God wants us to act in a certain way.
Satan also works through the media and our culture as well as through false prophets. These all twist God’s word so that it seems that God’s will is that all His children deserve to indulge themselves, to be healthy, wealthy, famous and proud. Thus we can live like the world because we think that it is what God wants when in reality it is what we want. When we fall prey to the devil in this way, then we are useless to God because we have set ourselves up as God, determining what is good and bad. If we eat of the bread of the word of God as a steady diet we will, like Jesus, be equipped to tell the truth from lies and be better prepared to overcome temptation. And then we will give glory to God in all we do.