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Question: Jesus Being Tempted by Satan

Full Question by Annette: Who gave satan power and glory and why? I don’t understand. (In reference to to Luke 4:5-8)

And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.”

Answer: The devil does have dominion in this world to some degree. Saint Paul calls him both the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 4:2) in his epistles.

Saint John also wrote about the devil,

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the Evil One.” 1 John 5:19

He has this power because of our fallen nature, and because we are predisposed to sin on account of the effects of original sin even after baptism. Because of these things, the devil continues to have power here on earth.

The power that the devil has is to tempt and to destroy. Since he is a created being, of a higher order than humans because he has an angelic nature, he is not all powerful nor does he have creative powers. He can only kill and destroy. When he tempts us to sin, it’s not because he wants what’s best for us, it’s because he hates us and knows that sin harms us to our very soul. He actively hunts humanity, seeking to devour souls,

Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

None of this should cause us any distress, because the devil is not an equal by nature to God. If anything, he’d be the equivalent of Saint Michael, who is the commander of God’s angelic army. But the difference between the two being that Saint Michael is a servant of God, and by His omnipotent power, will cast the devil into hell at the end of time.

So that begs the question of how can he give Jesus power and glory that he himself doesn’t have?

This brings us back to the basic fact that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). All the promises he makes, so that sin looks enticing, are empty to their core. He entices Jesus to sin against the first commandment, but what he offers in return is nothing but empty promises. A mirage.

That’s exactly the same as when Satan temps us today, and we’d do well to remember that all of his promises are empty and void.

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