Authority

The Father has authority over the Son and both have authority over me

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Read: Matthew 4

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” (Matthew 4:8-10)

Reflect:

The devil is also called “the tempter” (4:3) and “Satan” which means “the accuser” (4:10) in this chapter.

Jesus was tempted because, led by the Spirit (4:1) he made himself vulnerable to temptation. But Jesus did not give in to the temptation because he was equipped to repudiate the tempter. Jesus knew Scripture and was able to use it as a sword (Ephesians 6:17) against the devil, remaining sinless.

In his third attempt to tempt Jesus, the devil offered all the kingdoms of the world to Jesus if only Jesus would worship the devil. There is great irony in Satan’s presumption in attempting to barter worldly kingdoms with God’s anointed king, the King of all kings. It was a bit like the tenant of a house offering to give the house to its legal owner for the price of an entire town’s worth of houses.

Satan does have power in the world today. John wrote “we know that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). But even if the devil does have power at present, this power is temporary. He is only a tenant, not the true owner. Satan’s power and authority is limited.

But the devil has no authority at all over Jesus. Jesus knew the only entity with greater authority than himself was his Father in heaven. He deferred to the Father’s authority when he used Scripture as the basis for rejecting Satan’s scheme. In contrast to the

Satan uses this same method to tempt today, just as he also did in the time of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-5). He makes false promises and tricks people into thinking his way will yield power, but he only offers slavery. Like Jesus, I must “not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27).

crux:

The Father has authority over the Son and both have authority over me.

Respond:

LORD God Almighty,

You are Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Almighty.

You have power to rebuke the devil so I do not need to fear his schemes. Please continue to protect me because I belong to you; Jesus has redeemed me from the devil’s slavery.

Please help me to submit to your authority. May I know your word. May your Spirit guide me to know how Scripture applies to my situation.

Be my Rabbi, my Teacher. Show me yourself and inspire me to worship you. How could I not worship you, when you are so great? LORD, help me to surrender to your authority.

May I be willing and eager to walk in your ways, to follow Christ, to be led by the Spirit. Soften my heart to you and take my pride. Open my ears to you, and shut down the voice of the devil. Open my eyes to your glory, and blind me to the tempter’s lures. May I be wholly yours.

Amen.

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