Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 4 Study Notes
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3 Lincolnton, NC July 9, 2006
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
1901 ASV Translation:
5 And he led him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
I. The Devil Seeks Jesus' Worship.
A. He took Jesus to a vantage point.
B. He showed to Him all of the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an "moment" of time.
1. The "kingdoms" were geographical areas which had been subjected to someone's "authority".
2. The "moment" of time: what was its "impact"?
a. The issue was the "showing" -- giving a visual demonstration or evidence.
b. Clearly, if "moment of time" means a very brief period (an "instant"), the devil was attempting to create a very potent impression by means of "viewing", but the "if" is significant.
1) The term "moment/instant" is a word that signals a "metaphor" that arises out of the "puncturing" of the skin (to form a tatoo), or the "burning" of the skin (to form a brand), or the lacerating of the skin by rod or whip (to impose punishment upon a person to attempt to govern the behavior).
2) The Septuagint uses the term to translate a Hebrew word that means "suddenly".
3) Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon says the word signifies anything that is "very tiny" (as in "a spot of blood").
4) So did he do this in a very brief time period, or did he do it "suddenly" as something completely unexpected?
c. There is this question: is man "tempted" by the briefest of exposures, or by the suddenness of an onslaught that attempts to steamroll him?
1) In the first place, it is an almost-impossibility to show anyone anything "in a moment of time".
2) And in the second place, it is far more effective to "suddenly overwhelm" than it is to simply give a "whiff" of something enticing.
3) Luke may actually have chosen the rare word translated "moment" because it carried both the ideas of suddenness and powerful dominion. The devil is not one likely to refuse an opportunity to show himself as very authoritative -- especially when he was attempting to get Jesus to believe that he had such authority to dole out to others.
C. The issue was "authority".
1. The devil claims that the ability to give this authority was "handed over" to him. In so doing he admits that he is not the "final" authority -- someone had to have had enough authority to "hand it over".
2. The devil was not suggesting that Jesus would be out from under his authority just because He was going to be given authority. In fact, the requirement of "worship" does more than suggest that Jesus will have to give up all authority in order to obtain what the devil is willing to give.
3. It is a testimony to the devil's effectiveness in imposing the delusion of "authority under authority" as a way to "dominate" in that everyone seems willing to submit to authority in order to obtain it.
4. What is the real appeal to having "authority"? And what possible "temptation" could it be to the "Son of Elohim Most High" to be offered "authority"?
II. Jesus Refuses.
A. "It stands written..."
B. Worshiping is serving...
1. In the first place, it is delusional to even think that there is such a thing as the "authority to be free from service".
a. God's essential character is that of a Servant.
b. It is impossible for such a God to create a creation that is not subject to His essential characteristic.
1) The very (inescapable) fact that the entire creation is founded upon the reality of Cause and Effect means that it is impossible to act without setting certain things in motion.
2) The adamant declaration of the apostle Paul (Galatians 6:7) that actions have a built-in "returning" consequence means it is impossible to be "an authority" in the sense of "being free from the consequences of one's choices".
3) Even rebellion against these immutable realities does nothing to undercut them, and the end result -- even of rebellion -- is that all "serves" the good of those for whom "service" is one of the highest ideals (Romans 8:28).
2. The choice of "worship" is the only "escapable reality": one can attempt to align oneself with the Rebel, but the bitter frustration of rebellion is that it accomplishes the very thing that was despised at the beginning...it "serves".
III. The "Temptation": Was it Real?
A. Was there anything in Jesus that felt a "draw" to the devil's "input"?
B. Was there any "foolishness" in Jesus that was susceptible to the lies?
C. Herein seems to be the rationale for Luke's recording of "suddenly": "suddenly" means that one is going to have to respond in a "knee-jerk" manner...without the luxury of thoughtful consideration.
D. That Jesus' immediate reaction was to embrace the "worship and service" of "Yahweh Elohim" shows that He was not seriously "tempted" by the display of "authority" and "glory".