When on 24 June, 1807, Czar Alexander I met Napoleon on a raft in the middle of the Tilsit River, the victorious French found a valued ally in the beaten Russian. Napoleon had once been but an artillery lieutenant. On that June day he mastered Continental Europe. With the treaty at Tilsit he could have turned his full attention to governing, not fighting.
However, past success in ruling and legislating hadn’t satisfied the Emperor. Whatever his conquests, he needed more. However many battle flags draped his headquarters, the one he didn’t have beckoned him. He didn’t know when to stop. Age of Napoleon, 22
Satan had that problem with Jesus. He left after being scathingly repulsed by the Lord in the wilderness but, as Luke wrote ominously, “until an opportune time” 4:13. A master at re-configuring himself, Satan returned throughout the Master’s ministry: through family interference Mark 3:20-21, 31-35; through disciple arrogance Mark 8:31-33; through Pharisaic deceit Matthew 12:38; through the agony of Gethsemane John 14:30-31, to name four. Satan never accepted the crushing defeat Jesus inflicted on him every time they collided.
Like Napoleon not knowing when to quit, Satan continues his ruthless historical opposition to Jesus. Like Napoleon, who couldn’t help but retreat after being systematically beaten in Russia, Satan will unwillingly finish his opposition when God’s angels forcefully throw him into Hell Revelation 20:10.
Unlike both Satan and Napoleon, Jesus knew exactly what to do when he came and pursued it relentlessly. And knows exactly when to stop: “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” I Corinthians 15:24-26.
Then, in an administrative change, Jesus yields his Ministry Authority to the Father while continuing as our eternal High Priest Hebrews 4:14-16. Redeemed, glorified humanity will always be represented by the SON before the FATHER.