â€œAnd the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.â€ (Luke 4:5)
It is interesting that there are just three â€œmomentsâ€ mentioned in the New Testament and that there are three different Greek words so translated, each used one time only in the Bible. Furthermore, each of these three â€œmomentsâ€ is used in a context which is anticipatory of the future.
First of all, Satan tempted Jesus by flashing before His eyes a vision of the whole world, offering it to Him immediately without His having to endure the cross, if He would rule it for the devil. Here the Greek word for â€œmomentâ€ is stigme, meaning a â€œpoint,â€ like a period after a sentence. In an infinite â€œtime line,â€ it would be just a dot on the line, a â€œpointâ€ in time. Satanâ€™s apparent dominion over this world, though it lasts six thousand years or so, is only a moment compared to eternity, and Jesus knew this was a poor bargain.
One day, in fact, He will return to reclaim the world from Satan. At that great day, â€œwe shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eyeâ€ (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). In this passage, the unique word is atomos, meaning an indivisible particle. That is, in an â€œatom of time,â€ too instantaneous to measure, we shall be changed to be like Him in â€œhis glorious bodyâ€ (Philippians 3:21).
Right now, however, our bodies are weak and easily beset with pain and sickness. Nevertheless, we are assured that â€œour light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of gloryâ€ (2 Corinthians 4:17). The word here is parautika, referring specifically to the present moment. What we must endure â€œhere and nowâ€ is so brief compared to the eternity â€œthen and thereâ€ that it is not even â€œworthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in usâ€ (Romans 8:18). HMM