Luke 4 records what happened after Jesus’ anointing for ministry at His baptism, “Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the Devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.”
Satan seizes the opportunity and tries to undermine Jesus’ identity through His flesh. “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answers with the Word of God. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’ ” (Deut. 8:3). Strike one, Satan.
So Satan tries to undermine Jesus’ calling. He takes Jesus up a high mountain and instantly shows Him all the kingdoms of the world. Needless to say, it must have been a mountain in the spiritual realm for all that to be seen at once. What is interesting is what Satan says next. “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
When was the authority of the nations of the world delivered to Satan? At the fall of mankind, when our human ancestors forfeited their position as God’s representatives on the earth, and Satan became the god of this age. Jesus boldly answers, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Strike two, Satan.
Satan’s third and final temptation has to do with Jesus’ supernatural power and the power of God’s written Word. Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple—God’s meeting place—and dares Jesus to throw himself down to test God’s Word that the angels would protect Him. Once again, Jesus responds with Scripture. “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Deut. 6:16). Strike three, Satan.
The temptation is over, that is, until another “opportune time.” Satan’s sinister plan backfired big time. Verses 14-15 records, “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding regions. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.”
The Chronos Lesson: 2 Cor. 4:4 confirms that Satan is the god of this age and has blinded many to the truth of the good news of the gospel. The phrase “this age” is the age we are living in, the Church Age. While we are still in this age, we resist the devil as Jesus did, by answering his lies and temptations with the Word of God. It is a living and powerful weapon, “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
Our time on this earth is like boot camp. It’s how we learn to use the weapons of our warfare in the midst of the enemy’s territory. It’s how we learn to trust and stand on God’s truths. It’s how we learn to speak the Word to defeat the enemy. This is a vital skill because, as the immortal court seated in Heaven, we’re going to be called upon to use this two-edged sword to speak into being the Antichrist’s defeat. It’s how we will declare the downfall of Satan and his evil hierarchy from the heavenlies to earth.
It is also how we will join Christ in fulfilling a key aspect of His work. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Satan’s sinister ways are one of the reasons that the earth is groaning. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). When are we revealed? In one sense during our boot camp training as we preach the Gospel with signs and wonders following as Jesus commissioned us. Yet we will be fully manifested at Christ’s second coming when we are raptured, seated as the heavenly court, and declaring God’s judgments against evil.