Daily Word

Temptation 3 – worship what? | Matthew 4:8-11

8 Again, the devil *took Him along to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to serve Him. 

Matthew 4:8-11 (NASB)

Temptation 3 – worship what?

Jesus has resisted the Devil and corrected his deceptions twice now. Here’s the third (and final) temptation. He keeps resisting them and rebuking the Devil.

This 3rd one is to reject worship of God and worship something else. The Devil tempts Jesus with worldly wealth and power if He will worship him. For us the devil doesn’t really care. As long as we do not worship God, he’s happy. It’s actually easier for him to tempt us to worship our job, our possessions, relationships, ourselves, even control than to worship an idol. Of course, the more substitutes for God he can have us worship, the better.

Never give in

But Jesus doesn’t give into these temptations and He never gave into any. Though He is fully man, “He was tempted in all ways as we are yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) God calls us to follow Jesus’ example and not give into temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us how: “No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

A formidable foe

Take a look at what Satan was able to do – transporting Jesus to the top of the temple (temptation 2) and here to the top of a mountain – instantly. As we look in the book of Revelations, we see that he has tremendous power. His demons do as well. But God is greater. He created all things – including angels. Take courage in knowing, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

And take courage knowing Jesus, who was being tempted and “manhandled” by the Devil, is ruler of all. Philippians 2:10-11 tells us that, “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


After the fasting and temptations, The Father sent angels to serve Jesus. “Angels came and waited upon him – Both to supply him with food, and to congratulate his victory.” (Wesley’s commentary) They were “ready in the wings” to help as soon as the Father granted. But Jesus had to pass this test first.


  • How well do we obey this life edict, to worship the Lord our God and serve Him only? The Devil and his demons are active today as well. They tempt us regularly to worship and serve anything – except God. Look at the idols of your heart. Check out this teaching about identifying idols of the heart.
  • Choose to be like Jesus and resist temptation. Know that the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) has help and comfort for us. And if we fail, be quick to confess and repent to keep the relationship with the Father and allow the Spirit to do His complete work. A great way to resist is to quote Scripture that you know and have meditated on.
Formidable foe – David and Goliath. Image from Pxfuel.com

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