The enticement to satanic worship
Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
The great prize Satan presents Jesus with is authority over all the kingdoms of this world (Matt.4:8-9). This rule is not sinful since the Messiah is promised the nations for His inheritance and the ends of the earth for His possession (Psa. 2:8). But the problem with this temptation is the means the Devil offers – worshipping him, a false god. If Jesus worshipped Satan, He can be brought immediately into a position of authority over the world (Matt. 4:9), instead of contending with a difficult passage in receiving it. The enticement was clear: take a shortcut and bypass the cross to receive immediate exaltation that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth” (Phil. 2:9-11).
Adam failed this test by submitting to Satan (Gen. 3), Israel disobeyed by going after other gods (Hos. 11:1; Exod. 32), but Jesus will not submit to Satan. He will not avoid the cross. After submitting to the complete will of the Father, He receives real untainted authority (Matt. 28:18-20), not from Satan, but from God, the Father!
If our Lord faced such a test, let us not be surprised if we too will be tested. In our world today, fame, power, and authority are so enticing that many people embrace wickedness to attain these goals through Satan’s influence. We should never be this way, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16). Whenever we are tested or tempted, let us pray to Him and study His word for He alone can help us (Heb. 2:18). He has succeeded and is ready to teach us how and to help us.