Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:1-3
How would you respond if someone walked up to you and asked: “Who are you?”. On a surface level, it’s an obvious question having a wide range of meanings and could be answered any number of ways. You may initially respond that you are a man or a woman, a father, mother or sister. Maybe you would say you are a teacher, construction worker, a musician or a business professional. Maybe you would answer it from the perspective of your talents or gifts by saying you are an encourager, a pastor, an optimist, or a friend. In Matthew 4, we read about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness where Satan twice challenges Jesus by questioning who he really is. He states, “If you are the Son of God…” as if taunting Jesus to prove His divinity by performing suggested miracles. What’s interesting is Jesus so thoroughly and completely knew who he was–God’s Son–he didn’t even bother to directly address the challenge. Instead, Jesus clearly refuted each clever temptation with the Word of God. Jesus clearly discerned Satan’s temptations and knew they were really about his identity as the Son of God. One would expect Jesus to look at Satan and quietly say, “We both know who I am.” Satan came at Jesus with the most powerful temptation he could think of…he questioned Jesus’ identity. He lost big time!
In 1 John 3:1, we read an amazing statement about who we truly are. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Read that again slowly. Because of God’s great love for His Elect (you and me) he has called us children and that is WHAT WE ARE! All of us are actual Children of God! Jesus was the first fruits of many (Romans 8:29) and we are ‘the many’. Our enemy uses the same technique on us as he did on Jesus. He constantly feeds us doubts causing us to question our true identity. He knows if he can get us doubting who we are in Christ he has, in effect, eroded the foundation and the rest of the house (our faith) will fall.
It would behoove us to read scriptures like Galatians 2:26 every day to remind ourselves who we truly are. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Let’s walk through this day, and every day, being assured of who we are in Christ. Then our enemy will flee from us as he fled from Jesus in the wilderness so long ago.