The temptation in the Garden of Eden…essentially gave us a bank account with a checkbook full of checks that we are unable to cash…gave us a brand-new automobile without an engine.
Applying this same line-of-reasoning to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…the pivotal turn-about here is that Satan did not know…that this time he was the one who was partially uninformed…at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…about the premeditated and timeless plans of God for Jesus to be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sin (1 Cor. 2:8).
Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 were brilliantly hidden in the Old Testament scriptures as prophetic, predicted events to be fulfilled centuries later in the future… as were actualized into reality on Calvary Hill and on Easter morning in Jerusalem…about three and one-half years after this temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
Satan is a created being…and does not possess the divine attributes of divine foresight and foreknowledge. This time around Satan himself was not “with-it” and divinely savvy to know in advance the precise plans of God for the redemption and salvation of mankind.
The temptation to Jesus in the wilderness…of using the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world as the means to fix humanity’s problems was not an off-target, misdirected temptation…not a random, shot-in-the-dark outcome of Satan’s not fully knowing in advance of the precise details of the life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God…in a human body here on earth.
But in crafting this deceptive temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…what separates itself out here…that tells us a great deal about the real truth about God…is that Satan this time was the one who did not possess all of the information.
The biblical narrative stories of faith…including and especially the life-script for Jesus Christ…demonstrate that only God has the complete picture…that only God has all of the information…along with timeless foresight and absolute moral goodness.
Satan was unable to comprehend and to interpret the Passover…of the blood of a lamb applied to the exterior top and sides of the entry doors to the dwellings of the Jews in Egypt (Ex. 12:7) that effectuated the plague of death…the “destroyer”…to safely passover the houses of the “children of Israel in Egypt” (Ex. 12:27)…re-enacted by Jews every year thereafter as the Passover celebration for roughly 1,500 years.
Satan was unable to grasp and to anticipate the Passover as a foreglimpse of the prime mission of Jesus Christ the Son of God to be that very Passover Lamb of God.
If Satan had any foresight and advanced knowledge into the true mission-plan of Jesus…at the time of the temptation in the wilderness…he would not have wasted one of his three temptations on the idea that Jesus of Nazareth would be susceptible…would lower His sights…to the enticing allurement of using worldly power and glory as a shortcut to achieve His destiny.
The offer of this worldly conventional means by which to save the world…that might presumably tempt Jesus…again clothed as a deceptive half-truth but lacking the complete picture…intended for Jesus to take the quick and easy worldly path to accomplishing His mission…whatever that was as understood by Satan at that moment in time…the underlying destructive intention was to subordinate Jesus to Satan’s authority (Lk 4:7)…the main goal of this temptation in the wilderness.
To sacrifice His unique role and singular opportunity as the Son of God in a human body…in order to accomplish the saving of the world by taking its repair into His own hands by using the standard, worldly conventional means of political power, glory, and influence…to Satan’s thinking might be appealing to Jesus…as a misguided form of self-sacrifice…at that critically opportune time of physical weakness after fasting in the wilderness (Lk. 4:1-4).
But Jesus emphatically rejects this tempting proposal put forward by Satan…choosing instead the elevated life-script composed by Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit…before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)…because Jesus Christ knows His own life-script calling and mission-plan…because Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God in a human body…possesses all of the information ahead-of-time (Lk. 2:49; Mt. 9:6, 9:28, 12:40, 26:53-54; Jn. 18:36-37, 19:10-11)…being in direct communion and communication with God the Father at all times (Mt. 11:27; Jn 3:34).
The unique life-script for Jesus Christ to become the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sin…elevated and transcendent far above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and thus outside of the contemplation of Satan at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…was foreglimpsed in the aborted sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:8)…foreglimpsed in the yearly Passover instituted at the time of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (Ex. 12:1-28)…and foreglimpsed in the brazen serpent lifted up on a pole by Moses during the Exodus (Num. 21:8-9; Jn. 3:14).
The extraordinary revelation here that illuminates the real truth about God…as it relates to our free-will choice to follow God or to go our own way…is that Satan at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…was incapable of envisioning and comprehending a higher, transcendent mission-plan for Jesus the divine Son of God to absorb within Himself the sins of the world…as the Second Person of the Trinity to accept our punishment for sin…to experience death on our behalf for the one and only time in all eternity…and to be bodily raised from the dead by God the Father after being buried in a cave for three days…thereby having the legal justification to possess the keys to hell and to death…and to be able to offer salvation and eternal life freely to any and to all who will place their faith in the Passover Lamb of God…Jesus Christ.
Satan cannot rise above his own limited capacity and character…in crafting his temptations for Jesus Christ of Nazareth…and for human beings…and this is where God can outpace and out-run Satan…as demonstrated in the biblical narrative stories of faith…and in God-composed journey of faith life-scripts for Spirit-born Christians today.
Before encapsulating all of this…more needs to be said about the American Dream.
In the highest and most ideal sense the American Dream can be described as the opportunity to realize our innate potential through the exercise of individual freedom, economic freedom, and personal responsibility…within a political system of rules and laws that is a democratic republic based upon representative government ruled by “we the people” and not by the tyrannical whims of a hereditary monarchy…periodically electing our leaders through popular vote…that creates a fair and open society where people can advance socially, culturally, and economically…as free from prejudice and corruption as is possible…thereby producing the best human generated social environment for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Slightly lower down the vertical spectrum-line of this higher ideal…is the more basic and worldly-practical motivation of the varied immigrants coming to the United States from other countries…wanting to experience this higher ideal of personal freedom and liberty within an open society…but mainly focused initially upon the expedient goal of securing economic stability through better employment opportunities available in America…historically fleeing from political oppression, culturally closed societies, or local natural disasters causing economic depressions…in their home countries.
The contemporary American Dream might therefore generically be defined as going to college, getting a good paying job we like working at, having a happy marriage, raising a family, owning a house in a nice neighborhood, having friends, enjoying hobbies, playing sports, advancing in our careers, participating in beneficial and fulfilling social work, sending our children to college, being able to financially afford driving nice cars, enjoying good health, taking European vacations, having a solid stock market portfolio, and providing for a secure retirement.
What is important here…in our attempt to understand the real truth about God…is that it is beyond imagination to hypothesize an American Dream scenario…translated back in time to match the first-century culture of the Greco-Roman world…for the life-script of Jesus Christ the divine Son of God.
The comparison of apples to oranges as an analogy is inadequate.
An American Dream life-script applied to Jesus Christ does not fit…even at its highest and most idealized sense…because the biblical narrative stories of faith transcend above the worldly conventional normalcy and thinking of the American Dream…in any era…past or present…especially for the life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God.