And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.
Jesus started a war. 'Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division' (Luke 12:51).
However, before Jesus defeated Satan, He had to trick him. He had to tempt Satan into a public brawl, and at the same time raise an army to follow Him. Jesus told us to 'Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves' (Matthew 10:16), and so He was.
Was Satan lulled into a false sense of security during Jesus' 30 years in a low profile life? Did he begin to think the Son of God was here on a simple discovery mission--maybe to learn first-hand about His people? I don't know, but when John began baptizing and Jesus began walking, hell's battle sirens began screeching.
When Jesus walked into the desert for 40 days, Satan came, too. Could the gentle carpenter be an easy target? That fallacy perished along with Satan's unchallenged dominion.
I believe Jesus deliberately tempted Satan, while He encouraged Satan to believe the opposite. Jesus played Satan for a fool. The battle Jesus began with subtlety would continue into a resounding victory on the cross.
Have we considered why Jesus told His disciples about His desert maneuvers with the devil? No one witnessed them, and they could have stayed sealed in supernatural journals. But, Jesus told them to teach us. God intended to give His people the knowledge and strength to fight the king of beasts and come out on top.
'Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you' (Luke 10:19).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Jesus, The Warrior series.