Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness
Jesus led by the Spirit, sets off into the wilderness for a 40 day fast to discover who he really is, and more rightly so, to reaffirm his identity, to reaffirm who he is as the son of God. And while he’s on this journey, he encounters Satan, the evil one, the one rightly named the Accuser. And the Accuser, he’s going to try and use who Jesus is as the son of God against Jesus himself three times. The Accuser, twisting scripture, tells Jesus, “If you are who you say you are, turn these stones into bread.” And then he steps it up some more, again twisting scripture, “Jesus, if you are who you say you are, throw yourself off the top of the temple, because your angels will catch you.” And then the Accuser really amps it up, “Jesus, if you have any doubt about who you are, and maybe it’s possible you don’t have all this power that you think you do, if you’ll bow down and worship me, I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the earth, I’ll give you all the power in the world.” And for Jesus, even though he has power to turn stones into bread, and even though the angels could save him from death, he knows that who he really is, his real power, his identity, it comes from the Father above, and not what the Accuser thinks of him. And so Jesus sends Satan on his way.
A retelling based on Matthew 4:1-17
Reflections on Matthew 4:1-17
The two biggest issues the enemy will use against us are loneliness and identity. He’ll catch us when we feel alone or when we think no one sees us and he’ll try to call into question who we are or he’ll use even the best things about who we are against us. My hope and prayer for you is that you’ll discover who you are isn’t rooted in your skills, and gifts, and personality, but in the mission you’ve been given to reflect God in the world. Your identity is that you’re dearly loved by the Creator and the Creator has purposed you to live this love out in the world despite the enemy.