And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” (NASB, Lockman Foundation)
The tempter never gives up after only one try. He keeps nagging and persisting. Think of Joseph of whom it was said that he was tempted daily. It is naïve to say that this offer of Satan did not appeal to Jesus. Surely, a way to bring about the Kingdom short of the cross was appealing. Yet, in another sense it was so far from the nature of Jesus that He could not bring Himself to the realization that this was possible. Jesus’ mission was to strike against the prince of this world and to take power from him. Jesus knew that for Him to cut a deal with the enemy would compromise His mission. It wouldn’t have truly have been good if it had compromised to evil. Yet how often do we try to fight wars and call it a “good evil” because it accomplishes something good. That is not the way of our Master. Jesus fully realized that the way a thing is done has as much to do with making the thing good or evil as the accomplishment of the thing itself.
Today, the tempter will try to give us opportunities to cut a deal with him, will we listen? It will not be anything as great as the kingdoms of this world, but it will be smaller things that could lead us down a path we do not want to travel. Let’s take our cue from our Guide and remember to serve God and Him alone.