Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 8
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:3:13-16
What is God doing?
In the attempt to establish Jesus as the promised Messiah and to do all for man that this entails (destroying the works of the Devil and providing cover for man's sin/guilt), the Ruler of this world must be drawn out. It does little good to destroy the works of the enemy if man is little convinced the the enemy even exists or to the form/extent proper for man to think. Here the accuser of man it drawn out and shown to an extent perhaps unlike any other description given in scripture.
What is man doing?
Man himself is not present in this passage, but because Jesus is as much man as God seeking to be our intermediary, Jesus is there in this passage as our champion. Each and every man likely would have caved in and crumbled at this test. Jesus however even in His much weakened human state did not. Therein He exposes not only the existence of Satan, but the scope of his rule and typical means of attack (this before Jesus ever teaches or preaches our heals a soul).
So what then of Satan has been revealed? First lets examine his existence. For some he is merely the symbol of evil in the larger symbolism of the struggle within man good and evil; he is a characterization/amalgamation of certain destructive human traits. To others he is the necessary nondetachable coequal of good; together with good the completeness of reality and experience. The bible shows him as one who lead one third of the angels of heaven into a battle to defeat God especially as it came to God's most recent creation man.
What power Satan actually has that is being exposed is debatable. The things that he threatens and promises Jesus may just as likely be part of his deception to some extent; he may be puffing himself up to look more intimidating and bigger. He certainly at this point does not have any power over Jesus other than if Jesus were to give it to him in submission. It is not until the capture trial and crucification of Jesus that this dragon is permitted to strike at His heel and that mostly by the submission that the political and religious masses had fearfully rendered Satan.
We had mentioned in the previous passage that it was up to Jesus to set aside Himself in order to obey only the directives from here on out of His Father. Satan's attempt here is to get Jesus to act on His own before receiving specific directive in order to prove Himself. Jesus is to prove Himself to the Father by His obedience. The Father is to prove Jesus by irrefutable confirmations. That is the way it is to be with us to Christ.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
Satan is at absolute war with our blessed Christ. Saints are in the line of fire because they are on the line of battle with Christ. Saying keep the commandments equates to saying keep the General's orders, guard your position each of you, hold the that line one for another. The weapons of our warfare, just as it was for Jesus during this passage on temptation, is the Word of God (not any of the twigs or rocks we might gingerly throw).
Next: devotion:Matthew:4:12-17 Jesus Begins to Preach