No Deal!

 

Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and he showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and you shall serve him alone.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

 

Mathew 4. 8 - 11

 

 

Dear readers,

 

twice the devil has tried in vain to destroy Jesus´ mission. The first time suggesting that to end the desert season yourself and no longer rely on God's help. The second time, he provoked Jesus by suggesting to play with his life and blindly take on risks. Now he's trying a deal. He suggests: I lay down the world at your feet if you worship me.

 

Satan knew that Jesus left the glory of the Father. In his praise, the apostle Paul describes it as follows: "Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God. To the contrary, he emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2, 6 – 8)

 

God becomes man in Jesus Christ. Jesus accepts to be humbled. He leaves the splendor and glory of heaven and comes to us humans. Jesus takes on the ordeal to atone for the sin of all men.  Jesus is now following a path which reaches its climax on Calvary. Jesus Christ “is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” ( 1 John 2,2).

 

Satan wants to prevent this goal by all means. Even his disciples are seduced and contradict Jesus. When Jesus says he has to suffer and be killed on the way to Jerusalem, his disciples do not want to believe that. At the time, that did not fit into people's thinking, and still today many people do not agree with that. They want to see a glorious Christ, not a suffering one. The cross disturbs many. A suffering, dying God - that does not fit!

 

When Peter has to listen to what Jesus is about to do, he takes the Messiah aside: God forbid, Lord! Everything, not only that! (Mathew 16:21 f). Then Jesus turned and said to Peter, his closest confidant: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mathew 16,23)

 

Jesus wants to go to the end of his ordeal. He will do this out of love for us. He gives his life so that we can live in eternal communion with God the Father. He remains obedient to the Father. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2, 9 – 11)

 

All people are invited already today to worship only the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ deserves honor. No worship of idols, of power and wealth. Nobody should fall down awestruck before the beauty of nature. Nobody should bow to the self-glorification of other people. Nobody should make himself an idol. Do not worship your own body, not your sexuality. Nobody should strive for the world to lie down at his feet.

 

I encourage you to resist seduction, even if the offers may be tempting. Do not make a deal with the seducers of this world! I deliberately want to pray daily: „And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Mathew 6:13).

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© 2020 Hans-Peter Nann, Frankfurt am Main