It’s a good thing Jesus was above reproach. Otherwise, He could have been seen as simply another politician who fell for Satan’s empty promises and what the world has to offer.
He is the perfect example for believers to follow when the seduction of sin taps us on the shoulder and the enticement of self-gratification presents itself.
In Matthew 4, we read the story of the Spirit leading Jesus into the wilderness. After Jesus fasted for 40 days, Satan came to tempt him not only with food but also with fame and power (which was not Satan’s to give, by the way). At that moment, Jesus’ temptation was to take the world as a political ruler and to shun His plan to save the world from sin. Satan’s job was to try to distort Jesus’ perspective by making Him focus on worldly power and not on God’s plans.
Like many rulers and government heads who followed—including many in power today—Jesus could have thought only of Himself and what He could gain from the situation. Thank God for Matthew 4:10 where Jesus said, “Get away from here, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'”
Had Jesus given in and not lived out His purpose of the cross, our one-way ticket to the lake of fire would still be punched. No “get out of jail free card” here.
Daily, Satan fulfills one of his duties by attempting to entice us with materialism and power. He attempts to lure us away from the safety of God’s Word and entangle us in things in which we have no business being involved—desires for which we need to lie, steal and cheat to fulfill.
Remember the parable Jesus taught in Luke 8? Are you a “thorn patch” person who, after hearing the Word, goes out into the world and is choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life that bring no fruit to spiritual maturity? Or, are you a “good ground” person who will follow Jesus no matter what the cost?
If you find yourself in such a situation, ask yourself not what would Jesus do, but what did Jesus do. Away with you, Satan!
And, as I always like to say, “there is that.”
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, “Step Out of the Boat,” and other Charisma newsletters, click here.