Satan’s temptation to Jesus (Matthew 4)
Satan : “if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to became bread.”
Jesus: “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”.
Satan: throw yourself down. For it is written: “Hill will command his angels concerning you, and they will life you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone”.
Jesus: “it is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test”.
Satan: All this [all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor”I will give to you, if you will bow down and worship me
Jesus: Away from me, Satan! For it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only”.
Here is my interpretation of Satan’s strategies.
Satan’s Strategy 1-play on people’s ego. As part of our sinful nature, people like to “show off”. That is why Satan’s first attempt to get Jesus to listen to him was “show me your power. You are different from all these other people. You are special, because you can turn stones to bread. Show me the power you have as the Son of God.
Jesus did not fall into Satan’s trick, because he does not need to “show off”. He does not need any approval or admiration from any man, nor Satan.
Satan’s Strategy 2-Target at what is important for a specific individual. For Jesus, Satan knows that what is important for Jesus is God’s words since that is what Jesus told Satan in the first temptation. So this time, Satan says, “look, God even said it- ‘for it is written, he will command his angels concerning you”. This one did not go well either.
Satan’s strategy 3-The ultimate power he has-the whole world. Satan is willing to exchange all the kingdoms for Jesus’s will to obey Satan. What Satan wants from Jesus is that He would start to follow Satan, not Jesus. Jesus has that free will, and so do we. Every moment, we face temptations. That is why it is important for us to memorize Ephesians 6:10-18:
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.