The Many Failures of Satan

One of the parables that Jesus tells is about men who rent a vineyard (Matthew 21:33-42).  The renters had agreed to pay the owner with a portion of the harvest as their rent.  When the time came to give the owner’s servant a portion of the harvest, the renters refused.  Some servants the renters beat and sent away. Others they killed.  When the owner decided to send his son, the renters thought, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’

Satan must have felt and thought the same thing when Jesus was born to Mary.  Like the renters, the devil’s first step was to use Herod to execute all the boys under the age of two in the area of Bethlehem.  So Satan tried to “kill the heir and take his inheritance.”

When the initial murder failed, Satan may have thought (this makes sense, but is not said in Scripture), “this is a baby and I can tempt him to sin more easily than Adam and Eve.”  What we know Biblically about Jesus is his birth, when he comes back from Egypt, events in the temple at age twelve, and then his public ministry (three years) and his crucifixion.  That’s not a lot.  The writer to the Hebrews summarizes all that time spiritually, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).  Please note the spiritual truth that Jesus was tempted as we are, at every time in his life, but was “without sin” – Satan failed to corrupt Jesus as he had Adam and Eve and as he does in all people born.

Give thought to what Jesus perfect, sinless life means about Satan’s failures.

  • He failed to have Jesus murdered as a child.
  • When Jesus was a little boy and Satan must have thought he could corrupt him using the sinful natures in the other kids through coercion or bullying, he failed.
  • The raging hormones of Jesus the teenager must have been a tempting target for the devil. He failed.
  • The developing young man with his ideals, his hopes and expectations for the future, and his desires for relationships with others, and his independence from mom and dad would be Satan’s targets. In our age all those qualities of youth have been effective and encouraged many a young man or woman to ignore the Lord.  Satan failed with Jesus.
  • Jesus the young man who noted the corruption of the Jewish religious leaders, and the tyranny and slavery of Roman imperialism could be another area of corruption to Jesus’ soul. Warped religion, corrupt governments and the unfairness of life causes people to fall in modern times.  Satan Failed.
  • Today we see many stumble in their relationship with God because they want to develop their income and their lives. As Jesus worked “to make ends meet” Satan would have made sure that temptation was evident.  He Failed.

In how many of the above points can we see ourselves, our lives, and our temptations.  Sadly, when honest, we have to admit that our sinful nature has caused us to sin in those areas.  For some, those temptations have become huge walls in their faces keeping them from seeing the mercy and compassion of God through his Son.

Reflect upon the following points:

  1. Jesus came into our world to save us / you.
  2. Jesus always defeated temptation in his life. Satan failed.
  3. Jesus on the cross was not a failure for God. There Jesus paid for sin and gave the curse of sin, Satan and death huge defeats.
  4. Believe in Jesus. Realize that your sins are forgiven because of a gracious, loving, and compassionate Father.  Stay strong in that gospel
  5. Keep in mind, that Satan is a failure on all levels, and so live your life in Jesus’ victory. Defeat your own temptations as often as you can.  When you can’t defeat your temptations, repent and trust Christ.  Grow stronger in defeating temptation and sin in your life.  Stay strong in the Gospel strength.

Put another way, Be our Father’s sons and daughters and help the Beast to FAIL MORE.

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24).

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