What You Serve Is What You Worship!

February 2010

Continuing lessons gleaned from Johnny V. Miller’s talks on the Temptations of Christ.

The third and final temptation of Christ (Mt 4:12-18) is the least subtle of the three. Satan says to Jesus, “Don’t sacrifice.” Satan can give Jesus all that He has come for right now without the necessity of the great Sacrifice that Jesus would have to make. Satan says, “The goal of life is to get. Stuff can satisfy.” He also assumes that everyone has their price. If he offers the right thing, Satan can buy the allegiance of anyone, including Jesus Christ. Jesus finds Himself in the position of having to deny Himself.

Jesus responds with Deuteronomy 6:13, which is placed in the middle of a passage on materialism. The danger of becoming rich is that we always want more and so we begin worshiping stuff rather than God. We think stuff will satisfy and become slaves to stuff. Jesus, on the other hand makes it clear that what we serve is what we worship. What gets us up in the morning is what we worship. He knew that the best was yet to come. He saw beyond the cross and the suffering to the unified Kingdom that He would create rather than the dying, splintered kingdoms of the earth that the Adversary offered him.

The point of this temptation for us is that we are never to judge God’s will by how comfortable, important or rich it will make us, but rather by the loving Father who gives it.