Be Gone, Satan!
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil…Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. – Matthew 4:1, 8-11
Check out last week’s sermon here.
“Be Gone, Satan!”
Real help and real hope is found in those words. Jesus endured real temptation from the great adversary. More than enduring, Jesus ended the encounter with the Devil in power, showing all along God’s providential care in each moment.
It was the Spirit who led the Son to be tempted, and it was the Son who turned away the Tempter with the Word of God. At the moment when we all would say, “yes” to the offer of the world, Jesus said to the Tempter and the temptation, “Be gone, Satan!”
How is this helpful?
A simple answer would be that Jesus is our great example to follow. He was tempted as we were and now sympathizes with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15).
Yet, it is not ONLY helpful and hopeful that Jesus is our example. Having an example to follow does not solve the problem of our temptation to give in to the Devil’s ways (sin).
How is this true?
Imagine your father were to one day set out to teach you woodworking. He sets you down and hands you a beautifully ornate birdhouse trimmed and stained and to perfection. Your eyes may desire to build such a box in the example your father gave, but you may be less hopeful when your father reveals that he was given the birdhouse, and your father has no means or tools to build one with you. The example may be of top quality, but you have no tools or ability to follow that example. In our own strength, we are at best incapable of accomplishing the change needed to turn down the temptation to sin.
Thank God, Jesus is much more than an example. Jesus is our Substitute (Romans 5:6, 1 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus is our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Jesus is our Savior (Acts 4:12). He only bids us to follow, having made the way and cleared the path by actually transporting us into His Kingdom by God’s power (Colossians 1:13).
“Be gone, Satan!” Those words are hopeful and helpful with real and everlasting implications. I do not just have an example who showed me the path of life. I have a Savior who saves me to, by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, say to the Tempter in my great hour, “Be gone, Satan! I will serve my Lord today.”
Question: When tempted will I turn to Christ in faith, trusting that He is able to far more exceedingly beyond all that I ask or think (read Ephesians 3:20)?