I don’t know why, but I’m intrigued with old episodes of “Deal or No Deal” on TV. In the game, the contestant picks one closed briefcase from 26 numbered cases that are displayed in front of them.
Inside each case is a number representing money amounts, from one penny to one million dollars. The chosen case represents the amount of money the contestant will win . . . kind of.
All the amounts of the closed cases are listed in order in two columns, lit up on the game board. The contestant must pick one of the cases that are on display. That case is theirs. From that point on, each case picked by the contestant, whether one cent or 1 million dollars, is opened and the amounts that are written inside the case are eliminated from the list of original amounts as listed on the game board. From the remaining dollar amounts on the board, the “Banker” determines the odds of the contestant having the largest amount of money in the case they chose for themselves. The Banker then makes an offer to buy their case, base on his computations. Depending on the remaining dollar amounts on the board, the Banker’s offer can be quite large . . . in the hundreds of thousands of dollars!
This is where it gets interesting. A board that may have only 3 cases left . . . Let’s say, $1,000,000, $10,000 and $5, may produce an offer from the Banker, to buy their case, for $300,000. Even though the contestants closed case may only contain $5.00, if that contestant says “Deal” that $300,000 is theirs . . . It’s guaranteed. I am always amazed at the number of contestants who say, “No Deal” to $300,000 and end up walking away with only the $5.00 that was in their case. The $300,000 was already theirs, but instead, they traded it in for $5.00, thinking it would be more than what they already had.
But then, there are those times when the contestant, right from the start, chose the closed $1,000,000 case as theirs . . . They owned $1,000,000 if they didn’t sell out for the immediate offer the Banker was tempting them with. Selling out for the immediate.
In a game of chance, that may make sense. Even so, it was depressing when today I watched a special game where $2,000,000 was the top prize. The Banker successfully tempted a woman to sell her case for $147,000. When the amount in her original case was revealed, she learn that she gave up the $2,000,000 . . . It was already hers!
Well like they say, hindsight is always 20/20. Wouldn’t it have been great if that contestant could have seen what was in her case before she made her choice? It’s nice to know that with Jesus, there are no closed cases.
As I reread Luke 4, regarding the devil’s temptation of Jesus, verse 5 popped out at me:
“5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this . . . it will all be yours.”
The offer that was made to Jesus was to jump on the immediate! . . . “The kingdoms of the world . . . in a moment of time.” To accept the offer of “in a moment of time” would have meant giving up His “case” . . . The one He already possessed . . . “All creation for all eternity”
When I’m tempted by Satan, I need to remember that his offers, to give into the immediate pleasures of sin, are “in a moment of time”, and at the expense of the true pleasures that are already mine, in Jesus. Jesus knew what was in His “case”, when He turned down the temptations from the devil . . . Thankfully, God has revealed the richness of my “case” through His Word, the Bible. It’s up to me to heed His instruction and walk away from sin.
Lord, give me the wisdom and the strength to away from the “in a moment of time”, immediate offers of sin, and instead . . . in obedience . . . run toward the “eternal” that is already mine in Jesus.
Luke 4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” (biblegateway.com, ESV)
More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!