The temptation in the wilderness of Jesus as recorded…in greater detail…in Matthew’s gospel in verses 4:8-10 and in Luke’s gospel in verses 4:5-8…was a seemingly misdirected, apples-to-oranges, nonsensical approach by Satan that missed the mark…regarding Jesus…in a key, fundamental way.
The power and the glory of the kingdoms of the world…was not anywhere in-the-ballpark of what would be tempting to the Son of God Jesus.
This appears on the surface to be a complete misunderstanding of the mission of Jesus Christ…an appeal to Jesus of the American Dream…on steroids.
It demonstrates a total misconception or a total under-estimation of the character of God…either by a very clever initial probing of the character of Jesus the Son of God in the opening sparring contest between darkness and light…or instead is a genuine ignorance about the un-susceptibility of Jesus Christ to the allures of the glory and power of the kingdoms of this world.
Either way…the mission and ministry of Jesus was not to validate the autonomous individualism that can be a component of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…by leisurely sailing the Greek Isles in the Mediterranean Sea in a carefree manner…for His own enjoyment.
Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
His unique life-script mission transcends above any worldly conventional goals, dreams, or aspirations…however commendable when these goals are part of our God-composed, journeys of faith that crossover into some of the tenets of the American Dream.
What reaches a level of inconceivable depth…light-years beyond what could be the product of human inventive, literary fiction…is that Jesus is the most wealthy and the most successful person in all of human history…being the divine Son of God in a human body…the Creator and mastermind of everything in the universe including ourselves…who owns literally everything…yet is in the humble outward appearance of a lowly carpenter from the outlying and insignificant small town of Nazareth in first-century Israel (Jn. 1:46).
If the sin-free, unblemished Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice…Jesus Christ…foreglimpsed in the ram caught in the bushes on Mount Moriah that became the substitute for Isaac (Gen. 22:13)…and depicted in the ancient prophecies of Isaiah 9:6 and Isaiah 53…if Jesus can perfectly live a divinely elevated life-script…being the Son of God while enjoying none of the outward advantages of the American Dream (Mt. 8:20)…this then opens up to every believer who will accept God’s invitation to follow Him by faith into a biblical-quality adventure of faith…to experience life to the fullest according to God’s perspective…within a divinely composed journey of faith for each of us…regardless of social, cultural, or economic status.
A God-composed journey of faith life-script is in an entirely different category…going in a different direction…entering in at the narrow gate of the cross as described in Matthew 7:13-14 as spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount…in a fundamentally different way of life…from pursuing the American Dream through our own efforts.
This is one of the most important…possibly the most important message coming from the Bible to modern, sophisticated mankind today…that Jesus Christ is not only our Savior and King…but also that He is the way, the truth, and the life…because He is the only person in all of existence who can craft journey of faith life-scripts for us that transcend above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
Jesus can do this not only because He is our Creator God…who knows each of us intimately…but also because He lived just such an unconventional life-script Himself.
The narrative stories of faith in the Bible are therefore of enormous and incalculable worth.
For this reason they have been under attack for the last four to five hundred years…for their supernatural accounts of the interactions between people and God…and for their accounts of supernatural events that were and still are today incorrectly criticized for being outside of the supposed closed-system of naturalistic materialism…a philosophical paradigm that no longer holds water in this new, Information Age time-period.
The narrative stories of faith in the Bible go way beyond being thrilling bedtime stories for children, covering issues that are deadly serious in their sophisticated applications to life.
The fundamental difference between going our own way in pursuit of the American Dream…and instead partnering with the living God within a journey of faith that may result in an outcome that exceeds the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the American Dream (Gen. 41:37-44; Ex. 12:31-36; Josh. 11:23; 2 Sam. 2:1-4; 2 Tim. 4:6-8)…is a discontinuous gap of two choices for human life…that far outpaces the inventive imagination of human literary fiction writing.
From A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity