Satan’s Offer Considered

This distinction between the earth and the world is also helpful in understanding Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. There Satan showed Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment’s time.” Satan could not have been offering Jesus a political position over earthly human governments, what we might call a president or prime minister. Satan is not the one who exalts and humbles earthly human rulers—God is.

Rather, Satan must have shown Jesus all the sub-kingdoms of his worldwide kingdom of darkness. He showed Jesus the hierarchy of evil spirits who, in their respective territories, reign over the kingdom of darkness, as well as the rebel humans who are their subjects. Satan offered Jesus control over his domain—if Jesus would join Satan’s rebellion against God. Jesus would then have become second-in-command over the kingdom of darkness.