13When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
This is Satan’s big chance to get Jesus to sin. He has failed miserably on his first 2 attempts. (1: Satisfy your personal hunger & 2: Become personally powerful.) The next best temptation he can come up with is to throw himself off of a church steeple? Surely he can do better than that.
Or can he?
Perhaps the devil needs to be given his due here as a tempter. You see, if Jesus jumps from the temple in front of the crowds that were always there and safely floats to a landing on the ground, he is instantly a bonafide celebrity. The people will flock to him for demonstration after demonstration. He is a Rock Star.
But if he doesn’t jump, Satan has attempted to plant the seed of doubt in Jesus about who he is and what his mission is. He started the test off with “If you are the Son of God…” Satan then “left him until the next opportunity came.” Can you hear him when he gets the chance to whisper in Jesus ear, perhaps at the Garden of Gethsemane when the sweat is blood, “Are you sure about the whole Son of God thing? You could have proven it that day on the temple but you chickened out. Now you’re going to be crucified over it? You can just say no like you did before.”
What’s my take away from this? First, the temptation of pride, being famous and having everyone clamoring over you must be extremely strong, or Satan wouldn’t have pulled that tool out of his tool bag. Second, he is one crafty, sly person and I need to be careful. Third, being careful is doing what Jesus did every single time. Jesus did what scripture told him God wanted him to do. He just calmly did it.
Lord, help me to not value the praise of people, for it is vain and fickle. Do give me the wisdom to read and love your Word, and the courage to live by it.