Friday, April 15, 2022

Handout - Matthew Chapter 4:8-11 - The Temptation of the Kingdoms of Earth

Matthew 4:8-11 - The Temptation of the Kingdoms of Earth

The Kingdoms Offered - Satan once again seeks to entice Jesus into acting independently of God the Father. All the kingdoms of the world are offered to Jesus. The fact that Satan is offering all the kingdoms of earth to Jesus leads us to ask, does Satan actually have the authority to do that? Let's take a look at that, and the difference between Satan's reign and Jesus's reign.

Satan's Reign vs. Jesus' Reign

Ruler of the Kingdom of the Air - Scripture clearly indicates that Satan is the present "ruler of the Kingdom of the air", according to God's permissive His will (Eph_2:1-2). God permitted Satan limited authority and rulership over Job (Job_1:6-12).

The Control of the Evil One - Here we have a quite explicit statement declaring that Satan is in fact in control of the whole world (1Jn_5:19).

Jesus States that Satan is the Prince of This World - The context of "is coming" in this passage is the imminent arrival of Satan to fulfill the crucifixion of Christ. The point of this passage is that even at this time, Jesus recognized Satan reigning as the prince of the world (Joh_14:30).

Authority of the Beast - It is explicitly stated that the False Prophet exercises authority such that he "made the earth and its inhabitants worship the beast" (Antichrist). Satan delegated power to both out of the authority that he had. This shows Satan's authority as the prince of the power of the air, reigning on earth and influencing people (Rev_13:11-12).

Satan's Power Removed - The timing of this event is quite explicit, it is when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet heralding the seven bowl judgments. This verse states that it is at this time that the "kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord". This clearly indicates that "the kingdom of the world" was Satan's prior to this event, and is removed after this event. As we have previously read in 1Jn_5:19 "the whole world is under the control of the evil one." This is clearly no longer the case (Rev_11:15).

Jesus's Reign Begins - Two verses later, in verse 17, it is clearly and explicitly stated again that it is at this time that Jesus has "taken your great power and ... begun to reign". This clearly indicates that Jesus does not reign on earth until after this event occurs (Rev_11:17)

Satan Offers His Kingdom to Jesus

If Satan did not possess authority over the kingdoms of the world, then he would not have been able to use this as a temptation. Satan did have the authority as permitted and limited by Almighty God to offer Jesus the kingdoms of earth (Luk_4:5-6).

Jesus's Response to the Temptation

Jesus tells Satan He has had enough of this, and commands Satan to depart with another quotation from scripture (Deu_6:13). Jesus is and always will be the highest authority. Jesus directly addresses Satan, perhaps in keeping with the growing intensity of emotions (Mat_4:10). Luke indicates that Satan would return at an opportune time, indicative of the behind the scenes work of Satan, and perhaps the indwelling of Judas Iscariot, etc. (Luk_4:13).

The Angels Minister to Jesus

Following the temptation, Jesus continues to show dependence on the Father. He did not conjure up food for Himself, but received God's supernatural care in the form of the angels that came to minister to Him. It should be noted that the angels while ministering to Jesus before and after the temptation were not present during the temptation, and Jesus would have felt need as a human. This is a good lesson for us. As Dr. Ed Glasscock states: "This reminds us that at times we may not be aware of God's care for us but that He can and will provide, even if for a little while we must endure our testing in apparent lone vigil."

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