3) "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship
In this third temptation, Satan wanted Jesus to compromise his
ministry, taking on his Kingly role before going through the Valley of Death--suffering
on the cross--for
humankind. Once again, Jesus fought back using the Word of God--the Sword of the Spirit--saying,
"Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him
What exactly are we to learn from Jesus' temptations in
In each temptation, Jesus resisted Satan by his actions,
words and inner desires, and was able to do so by using the Word of God--the
Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
In the first temptation, Jesus teaches
us whom to trust for our daily needs; God is the one who promises to care for
us, "And my God will meet all your needs
according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians
In the second temptation, Jesus teaches us humility. The
gifts God has given us are not to be used to show how great we are or what
we've accomplished, but to show how great God is and what he can do through a
life committed to serving him! Let your light shine...to praise the
Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
In the third temptation, Jesus teaches us that following
him means self denial. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
We do not gain heaven's reward without first going
through suffering--the Valley of Death. But we do not travel this path
alone. Jesus promises to be with us and never leave us: "Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with
me." and again he says, "Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you." (Psalm 23:4, Hebrews
Lastly, in the forty days Jesus spent in the desert he
teaches us that our actions, words and inner desires
are to follow his example. However, without God's indwelling Spirit, we are utterly incapable of
living up to this standard. In John 3:3 and following, Jesus told Nicodemus, a
Pharisee of the ruling council, a very religious man, that unless he was born again
he couldn't understand heavenly ideas---he needed spiritual birth!
So what are we to do if a Pharisee of Nicodemus'
status didn't understand heavenly things?
The Bible says, it's not up to us! This is the Good
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
"...Confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved...for,
'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" (Romans
Finally, we must be mindful that Satan tempted Jesus at
a weak point--he had been fasting for forty days. Satan will also use the
circumstances in our lives, when we are weak, to tempt us to trust in something
other than God. Therefore, to live victoriously during the forty days of
Lent, and throughout the year, we must know the Word of God in order to use it
as our defensive weapon--our Sword of the Spirit--to defeat Satan's