Let’s read that verse: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the PRINCE OF THIS WORLD cometh, and hath nothing in me.” Jesus is the speaker here and as we shall see; He was referring to the Devil (Satan) as “the prince of this world.” Jesus was soon to be betrayed and He knew that the Devil, who controls this “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) and every unbeliever in it (1st John 5:19…NASB), was about to enter into Judas Iscariot and take control of him and lead him to betray the Lord Jesus (see John 13:2 with verses 21-30). The Devil no doubt thought this act of betrayal and the events that would follow (His being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane; His trial before the Jewish council and then before Pontius Pilate; His being beaten and ridiculed by the Romans Soldiers; and then His crucifixion), would cause Jesus to dishonor His heavenly Father in some way, yet Jesus could say that he “has nothing in me.” What does that mean? It means that there was “NO SIN IN JESUS” through which the Devil could gain control of Him and cause Him to sin against His Father.

You may recall that a few years earlier the Devil had tempted Jesus to sin in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1 says that “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” In one of the temptations we read, “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and SHOWED HIM ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD AND THEIR GLORY. And he said to Him, ‘ALL THESE THINGS I WILL GIVE YOU if You will fall down and worship me.” The Devil could offer Jesus these “kingdoms of the world” because THEY WERE HIS KINGDOMS! I referred above to 1st John 5:19 where we read, “And the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” The Devil, at present, is the “prince (or RULER) of this world” and thus he could offer the world’s kingdoms to Christ! Notice, Jesus didn’t turn to the Devil and say, “These are NOT your kingdoms; they are God’s kingdoms.” Jesus knows that these kingdoms will one day be His, for we read in Revelation 11:15 (when Christ comes in power and glory to rule the world): “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” But until that time God is allowing the Devil to exert his influence over the world. It is beautiful to see what we read next in Matthew 4:10, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Jesus would not succumb to the temptation of the Devil for HE COULD NOT SIN! Instead He gave glory to God as He always did. And then we read, “Then the devil left Him” (verse 11). The devil had been defeated because “there was NO SIN IN JESUS” that would tempt Him to succumb to any of his temptations! Yet as we saw in the verse in question, the devil would return to tempt Jesus again and would learn, once again, that he was powerless to lead Jesus into temptation. He could tempt Him from WITHOUT, but He could never tempt Him from WITHIN, for “in Him there is no sin” (1st John 3:5).

It is clear that the devil can and does control man who does have SIN IN THEM. Ephesians 2:1-3 says “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of THIS WORLD, according to the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the LUSTS OF THE FLESH and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, just as the others.” The DEVIL uses the WORLD, to attract the FLESH. The Lord Jesus “has nothing in Him” that will respond but men are easily brought under his control by the world he offers them. But we can praise God, for Jesus went to the cross where He defeated the devil and he will one day be cast into the lake of fire. Jesus spoke of this in John 12:31-33, “Now is the judgment of this world: NOW SHALL THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD BE CAST OUT. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” His death spells doom for the Devil and a way of salvation for lost sinners.  (DO)  (531.3)