“and he (Satan) said to Him, ‘All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.’ 10 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, (or, “Away with you!” NKJV) Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” ’ ” Matthew 4:9-10
In the gospels, we have two parallel accounts of Satan’s three shots at tempting Jesus while he was in the wilderness: Matthew’s and Luke’s.
Above, we have Matthew’s inspired rendering of Satan’s attempt in offering Jesus the world and all its glory if He would only worship him. Luke’s recording of Jesus’ rebuttal to the Devil as he was moved by the Holy Spirit to record it is slightly different: And Jesus answered and said to him, It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’ Luke 4:8 (NAS) Of note, the King James and the New King James versions append “Get Behind Me, Satan! For it is written…” to verse 8 in Luke’s accounting even though not found in manuscripts. The lesson that has been hammered home to us concerning Jesus’ temptation and His resisting the Devil is in how He did it- memorized Scripture. We need be mindful that Satan was the original purveyor of the health (“Throw yourself down, do something dumb, don’t worry, His angels will bear you up), wealth (our text above-you get all the glory, power and riches of the world) and happiness (Hey, just ask for some bread, He’ll provide it. He doesn’t want you to go hungry. Why are you fasting?) delusion. The Scripture Jesus quoted was Deuteronomy 6:13, “You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name.” (NAS) The context surrounding this verse in Deuteronomy concerns the warning given the people not to delude themselves and forget Who promised, provided, and protected the people on their journey out of Egypt and brought them into the Beautiful land. The Greek word translated “begone” or “away with you” is a form of hupago (Strongs #5217), a compound word formed from hupo, meaning under or below (as of place) and ago, which means to lead, bring, drive. Its basic meaning it has to do with leading under or bringing something below in placement or arrangement. This Greek compound word is found throughout the New Testament but here’s a passage where it’s used of which we are familiar: “But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get (or Begone, away with you, Gk hupago) behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.’ ” (Matt. 16:23) Most are familiar that this is the emphatic statement Jesus makes to Peter after He has told the disciples that He must suffer and die in Jerusalem at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes (oh, and be raised up on the third day which Peter obviously didn’t hear) to which Peter responded “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” (Matt. 16:22b) You’ve probably heard it stated that if you’re not worshipping and serving the Lord, then you’re worshipping and serving the Devil, albeit indirectly, which by the way, he’ll gladly accept. Brethren, if you consider how the Devil tempted Jesus and how Jesus responded to Peter’s unwillingness to accept God’s plan and purpose in the Christ, you’ll see that’s a very true statement. If Satan can get you to desire the glory of the things of the world over the glory of God, you become God’s adversary (one of the translations of the Hebrew word Satan). Peter thought (the apostles and disciples too), that Jesus was going to physically deliver the Jewish nation from the Romans and set up an earthly kingdom that would be the glory of the world. That wasn’t to be, it wasn’t God’s plan. Worshipping God is tied directly to our serving Him. That includes placing importance on what He deems important, holding a heavenly, eternal, spiritual view in contrast to an earthly, temporal perspective, and working the plan He’s given us in His word. Look at the temptations offered by Satan to Jesus. All are physically based and temporal in nature. Brethren, there’s a strong pull from the things of this world and it’s the means by which the Devil seeks to undermine worship of the True God. To place things of the world in preeminence above the things of God is tantamount to serving Satan in the eyes of the Lord. Remember Who you worship and serve, don’t fall for the Devil’s deceptions and set your mind on God’s interests, the things above. Just like Jesus you’ll be telling Satan, “Away with you!