Jesus must have been about thirty years old, when He became well-known to a wider public. He had been baptised by his cousin John the Forerunner (also called John the Baptist) and, heaven was broken open when a voice from heaven said: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matthew 3:17). What a marvelous confirmation from the Almighty, of Jesus at the beginning of his special mission.
The start of this mission has not been really smooth. In many heroic stories, the main character is put to series of challenges in order to test his suitability. It feels exactly like a challenge, of chosen heir to the throne. Jesus is put to the test for forty days. Forty. This number shows up repeatedly, does it not? Frequently, it indicates a period of big change. Like the forty days and forty nights that it rained during the big flood in Noah’s time. Here, Jesus was in the desert for a long time and met the deceiver. At one of the trials, Jesus is taken up on a mountain. ‘The devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and said: “All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9) Jesus refused. You only worship the Lord, your God! For Him, there is no other way to shorten the road to the kingship. No shortcut.
After the end of Jesus’ mission, his death, and his resurrection, Jesus is back on the mountain. But now life has brought massive changes. The biggest enemy of mankind, death, has been defeated….that was the mission. Here at the end, Jesus has rightfully received what the devil wanted to give Him underhand: all power over the kingdoms of the earth. It cannot be a coincidence that the gospel of Matthew describes this first and last scene, and that this is the beginning of a kind of a glorious campaign of a liberator. The last words of Jesus vibrate excitement: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18). Wahoo! The apostles were on the way. Everything being part of the deliverance journey. "And keep this in mind: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Well with this, the mission can be continued.