“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.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Reference: Matthew 4:8-11 )
I have always thought this third temptation of Christ was pretty lame. Did the devil not know who he was talking to? I mean really! Tempting Christ with kingdoms of the earth and splendor when Christ through God made creation and will endure beyond any kingdom on earth?! You notice the Christ Jesus did not respond on the temptation but reminded the devil that you are only supposed to worship God. Personally, I don’t think Jesus was very tempted.
May favorite part of this passage is that the angels “came and attended him.” That is the part I would like to happen to me. Historic Anabaptist Pieter Bruynen van Weert speaks in part [I have put in bold that portion] to this desire when he says “. . . dear brethren, be valiant and fearless, and walk with a firm and unchanging faith before God and His church, and firmly resolve, not to depart from the Lord, nor to separate from His love, on account of any distress or tribulation; and He can give you assistance and comfort, when you are forsaken, being deprived of all human help and consolation; for He comes to the help of him that forsakes and denies himself, since He dwells and will dwell alone in the hearts of men, and will not have it that we should serve any one but Him. Matt. 4:10. Thus, be established and built up in Him, and let love increase among you, whereby one sustains the other, and each joyfully endeavors to be the chiefest in virtue.”
I don’t know about beloved, but I would willingly exclusively serve the God who endures beyond all things on the earth, and who sends angels to minister to those in need. In fact, God sends the God-self in the form of the Spirit to attend to the needs of those who have place God above and in place of all other things. Why would we serve and worship anything than the authentic God?! Duh! (And selah!)