Jump Start # 2104
Luke 4:5 “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.”
Our passage today comes from the temptations of Jesus. There are several important factors here that we need to keep before us.
First, temptations are not wrong. It is sin that is wrong. Jesus was tempted, yet Jesus never sinned. There is a difference. What one does with the temptation determines whether or not he sins. Temptation is Satan knocking on the front door of your heart. If you open the door and invite him in, you’ll sin. Satan knocked, but Jesus never opened the door.
Second, this wasn’t the only time that Jesus was tempted. Over and over, throughout those three years of His ministry, Jesus was tested, tried and tempted. When Peter rebuked Jesus for declaring that He was going to be crucified, the Lord responded, “Get behind me, Satan.” Even on the cross, the on-lookers tested and tempted Him.
When Satan asks in these temptations, “If you are the Son of God,” he knew. He wasn’t in the dark about this. There wasn’t some doubt in Satan’s mind. We remember that James says, “even the demons believe.” “If you are,” could be translated, “Since you are.” Since you are the Son of God, use your powers. Help yourself. Save yourself. You can, so just do it. Jesus wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t listen to Satan. He responded to each temptation, with the same power that you and I have, the word of God. It is written, is what Jesus declared. Jesus knew Scriptures. Jesus believed in the Scriptures. Jesus stood with the Scriptures.
Here in our verse, as Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, offering Him position and power without the cross, by simply bowing down to him, we find this expression, “In a moment of time.”
In a moment of time so much can happen. For instance,
In a moment of time something thoughtless and cruel can be said that crushes the heart of another. We can talk without thinking. We can say things that should never be said. And, just like that, in an instant, in a moment of time, a dagger can be thrust into the heart of a marriage. A thoughtless word. A cruel word.
But just the opposite can happen as well. In just a moment of time, someone can lift your spirits by a kind act, an encouraging word, or letting you know that they have uttered your name in prayer to Heaven. Encouragement shows that others are thinking of you. It shows that you are not alone. It shows that others care and want you to do well. In just a moment of time. That’s all it takes.
In a moment of time, a decision can be made that alters your future. Crimes of passion are like this. They are not planned. They are not premeditated. Instantly. Without thinking. Emotions getting the best of them. Something is done and it can forever changer their lives. In just a moment of time, without thinking, your influence can be shot. Years of good can just evaporate away from one foolish deed. People won’t remember all the good that was done. They will remember the one bad deed. Years that it took to develop and build trust can come crashing down in an instant because of a lie that was discovered or an immoral act that was done. The trust between a parent and a child can be shattered in a moment of time. The trust between a husband and a wife can be destroyed in a moment of time. The trust between a preacher and the shepherds in a church can be swept away every quickly by decisions that were selfish, hurtful and not spiritual.
Can a person be forgiven? Certainly. Can a person be restored? Yes. But, it may take a long time for that trust to be repaired. This is why young people, on a dare, find themselves in all kinds of trouble because they didn’t think things out. All kinds of trouble can come in a moment of time. It can take a lifetime to try to undue what happened in just a moment.
Thirdly, in a moment of time, a person could be cast into eternity. Life is precious and fragile. It doesn’t take much and a life can come to a sudden end. There are examples on the internet of last pictures that were taken before a person’s death. Some were hanging over cliffs or dangling over a bridge. It was supposed to be an amazing picture, but something happened, and they died. A car accident. An accident at work. A health issue. And, just like that, in a moment of time, a person is thrown into eternity. Ready or not, they are there. And, once a person is there, there is no coming back. There is no do-overs. There are no apologies, promises to not do that again, pleas for a second chance. Once our life has ended here, we do not come back here.
Our lives do not end. We are cast into eternity. It is then, all that we believed, hoped for and lived for that matters. What street your house is on doesn’t matter. How often you cleaned out your car won’t matter. Whether or not you fertilized the yard this spring won’t matter. Bathed the dog? Doesn’t matter. Changed the batteries in the smoke detectors? Doesn’t matter. Got to see the latest super hero movie? Doesn’t matter. What will matter is what you did with Jesus. Do you believe? Did you worship? Did you follow? Did you obey? Did you allow Him to guide your life? Did you allow His word to dwell in your heart?
The door swings only one way from this world to the next. And, in just a moment of time, we can be there. It can and has happened while people are on vacation. It’s happened while people were at work. It’s happened during worship. It’s happened at home. There is an appointed time and we do not know when that time is. Death has taken babies. It has taken teenagers. It has taken young mothers. It’s taken those who were very busy. It has taken those who were bored. It has taken famous people. It has taken people who were needed here. It has taken people before they completed books, finished making movies, completed college, or lived their dreams. Not everyone completes their bucket list. Not everyone even makes a bucket list.
In a moment of time we can be on the other side. This tells us that we must live every day as if it were our last. Do all that you can do today. Live, love, walk with the Lord and help others all day long. If given a tomorrow, keep going. Keep it up. Someday will be our last day. Work until the Lord stops you.
In a moment of time…