Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan to shortcut his agony and the cross and still inherit the kingdoms of the world that Adam had lost.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-10)
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” (Luke 4:5-8)
Satan tempted Jesus with the kingdoms of the world, their splendor, their glory. Satan said it had been handed over to him and he could give it to whomever he wished. Did he know that Jesus was on a journey to regain the lost kingdom? Why did he tempt Him in this particular way?
Perhaps Satan was just using the same old tricks on humanity as he always has — lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. This temptation would fall under lust of the eyes. He knew this One before him was sinless and he knew that he had to get Him to sin so that he could rule over him. He knew he had to make his best offer to entrap this Perfect One whom had just been affirmed as a beloved Son by the heavenly Father when He was baptized.
What would have happened if Jesus would have bowed down to the enemy? He would have lost everything. He would not regain the kingdoms of the world as the Son of God because he would have compromised and would be subservient to Satan. He would have had no authority to rule and reign.
Think about the power of worship in these passages. Satan said that all Jesus had to do was worship him to gain everything that Satan had. Satan craves worship, because once someone bows to him, they become enslaved to him. To worship is to put yourself below someone else, to put yourself under their rulership.
Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
When we worship God, we are voluntarily putting ourselves under His rulership. God asks us to worship Him because that is our proper place in the universe. If we bow to Him, then we are not bowing to other things that want to enslave us. If we are below God, then we are above everything else — demonic activity, the lusts of the flesh and the world, sin and darkness, even death.
There was only way that Jesus could legitimately rule over the kingdoms of the earth and that was for Him to defeat Satan’s rule on legal grounds and become the undisputed ruler of the universe.
And He did!
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
When Jesus died for the sins of the world, including Adam’s initial rebellion, and He was declared justified, along with all of mankind with Him, then Satan’s hold was broken. Satan’s power was in sin, which separated mankind from God. Once sin’s power was dealt a death blow, Satan’s power became null and void.
Jesus has the keys of hell and death and He shares them with us! It’s time to act like we are overcomers, ruling and reigning with Him. Halleluiah!