Recently I was asked about the last temptation of Jesus from Matthew chapter 4. Specifically, they asked about Jesus' response to the last temptation from Matthew 4:10. In verse 9 Satan says to Jesus: “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”Jesus responded in verse 10 saying: “Begone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God
This is actually one of my favorite verses believe it or not because it gives a great charge to anyone who wants to be a follower of Christ. I think back and remember that Satan himself rebelled against God believing he was more worthy of worship. The belief we are better than or know more then God is the root of all sin and evil. Because the very nature of sin is a rebellion against what God has laid out, right? We try to mask it in other things, like the first two things Satan asked Jesus to do. It wasn’t directly self-worship or rebellion against God so it might seem easier to justify doing something that's our own way. However, they didn’t work on Jesus so in that last temptation Satan lays it all out; he tells Jesus he will give him all of “this” if Jesus will worship him. The greatest temptation we all face; the temptation to choose what we want over God. Jesus responds with the simple calling that he has for all of us that will choose to follow him; “Worship God” and “Serve him”.
The word worship there is a cool image. It means to bow down and then to kiss the hand of a master, the way a dog does to his owner. It paints the picture of intimacy, trust, reliance and a relationship that is bigger than just “do what I say”, as it is rooted in love, not duty! The word “serve” is the evidence or that love. Like when I tell Amy I love her and we snuggle, go on a date, and have a great night, but then the evidence of the love shared in those moments must overflow into our daily life events. Putting her desires above my own desires. Seeking to know her needs and wants in everyday life in order to LIVE out the love and relationship I have expressed and committed to her.
So Jesus is wanting us to see that he is not looking for drones to just do what they are told, but to have followers who love him, see him as their creator and trust him with their lives in how we live out that relationship with Him daily based on how He has called us to live through his Word.
Like I said, its one of my favorite verses because it reminds me I am in a relationship with my Creator God. He is not looking for some obligational living from me. Instead, he is looking for a relationship rooted in love, in knowing him, trusting, and thus overflowing into living for Him. It's not just religions, it's a relationship he seeks with me as he said in John 4. That's encouraging and inspiring!