If thou wilt fall down and worship me - As if he had said, "The whole of this land is now under my government; do me homage for it, and I will deliver it into thy hand."
All these things - All these kingdoms. All these dominions Satan claimed a right to bestow on whom he pleased, and with considerable justice. They were excessively wicked; and with no small degree of propriety, therefore, he asserted his claim to give them away. This temptation had much plausibility. Satan regarded Jesus as the king of the Jews. As the Messiah he supposed he had come to take possession of all that country. He was poor, and unarmed, and without followers or armies. Satan proposed to put him in possession of it at once, without any difficulty, if he would acknowledge him as the proper lord and disposer of that country; if he would trust to him rather than to God.
Worship me - See the notes at Matthew 2:2. The word here seems to mean, to acknowledge Satan as having a right to give these kingdoms to him; to acknowledge his dependence on him rather than God; that is, really to render religious homage. We may be surprised at his boldness. But he had been twice foiled. He supposed it was an object dear to the heart of the Messiah to obtain these kingdoms. He claimed a right over them; and he seemed not to be asking too much, if he gave them to Jesus, that Jesus should be willing to acknowledge the gift and express gratitude for it. So plausible are Satan‘s temptations, even when they are blasphemous; and so artfully does he present his allurements to the mind.
The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly, to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature, or disregarding prudence and the judgment God has given us to use. This would not be genuine faith but presumption.... Satan comes to us with worldly honor, wealth, and the pleasures of life. These temptations are varied to meet men of every rank and degree, tempting them away from God to serve themselves more than their Creator. “All these things will I give thee,” said Satan to Christ. “All these things will I give thee,” says Satan to man. “All this money, this land, all this power, and honor, and riches, will I give thee”; and man is charmed, deceived, and treacherously allured on to his ruin. If we give ourselves up to worldliness of heart and of life, Satan is satisfied. OHC 93.3Read in context »
All the followers of Christ have to meet the same malignant foe that assailed their Master. With marvelous skill he adapts his temptations to their circumstances, their temperament, their mental and moral bias, their strong passions. He is ever whispering in the ears of the children of men, as he points to worldly pleasures, gains, or honors, “All this will I give you, if you will do my bidding.” We must look to Christ; we must resist as He resisted; we must pray as He prayed; we must agonize as He agonized, if we would conquer as He conquered.57 TMK 34.5Read in context »
The tempter will come to them with his blandishments and bribes, saying, “All this will I give thee if thou wilt worship me.” But they know that he has nothing worth receiving, and they refuse to yield to his temptations. Through the grace of God, they are enabled to keep their purity of principle unsullied. Holy angels are close beside them, and Christ is revealed in their steadfast adherence to the truth. They are Christ's minutemen, bearing, as true witnesses, a decided testimony in favor of His truth. They show that there is a spiritual power that can enable men not to swerve an inch from truth and justice, for all the gifts men can bestow. Such ones, wherever they may be, will be honored of heaven, because they have conformed their lives to the will of God, caring not what sacrifices they are called upon to make. UL 214.3Read in context »
Christ was firm. Oh! where would now be the salvation of the race if Christ had been as weak in moral power as man? No wonder that joy filled heaven as the fallen chief left the wilderness of temptation, a conquered foe. Christ has power from His Father to give His divine grace and strength to man—making it possible for us through His name to overcome. There are but few professed followers of Christ who choose to engage with Him in the work of resisting Satan's temptation as He resisted and overcame. Con 63.1
Professed Christians who enjoy gatherings of gaiety, pleasure, and feasting cannot appreciate the conflict of Christ in the wilderness. This example of their Lord in overcoming Satan is lost to them. This infinite victory, which Christ achieved for them in the plan of salvation, is meaningless. They have no special interest in the wonderful humiliation of our Saviour, and the anguish and sufferings He endured for sinful man while Satan was pressing Him with his manifold temptations. The scene of trial with Christ in the wilderness was the foundation of the plan of salvation, and gives to fallen man the key whereby he, in Christ's name, may overcome. Con 63.2
Many professed Christians look upon this portion of the life of Christ as they would upon a common warfare between two kings, and as having no special bearing upon their own life and character. Therefore, the manner of warfare and the wonderful victory gained have but little interest for them. Their perceptive powers are blunted by Satan's artifices, so that they cannot discern that he who afflicted Christ in the wilderness, determined to rob Him of His integrity as the Son of the Infinite, is to be their adversary to the end of time. Although he failed to overcome Christ, his power is not weakened over man. All are personally exposed to the temptations that Christ overcame, but strength is provided for them in the all-powerful name of the great Conqueror. And all must, for themselves, individually overcome. Many fall under the very same temptations wherewith Satan assailed Christ. Con 63.3Read in context »