Luke 3:22, 4:1-13
And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”… Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
On this second day of Lent, let's follow Jesus out into the wilderness. He has been fasting for forty days in this lonely place. After more than a month without food, Jesus is famished. Satan descends in an attempt to thwart God’s plans for Jesus. He strikes where the human heart is vulnerable: identity. Each of the temptations lead with, “If you are the Son of God…” Satan questions Jesus’s identity (anyone relating here?). Forty days earlier, the Father bestowed on him his clear identity at his baptism: “This is my son, with whom I am well pleased.” Jesus knows who he is: God’s son, royalty. God said so…out loud. With this foundation, Jesus crushes Satan’s temptations. He knows who he is, and Satan cannot knock him off that solid ground.
The same arrows fly at our souls. “Who do you think you are? Does God really love you? You should build your own kingdom since you are truly on your own.” When these barbs pierce our hearts, like Jesus, let’s go back to who God says we are: we are co-heirs with Christ, God’s children, made pure and set free. He has good plans for us. He is with us and never leaves us alone. He gives us strength and provision. Let’s trust him with who we are, just as Jesus did in the desert, and stand victorious.
Lord Jesus, thank you for going before us as an example of standing up to temptation. Help us to lean hard into who you have made us to be as you leaned hard into your identity bestowed by the Father. When temptation comes, remind us of our identity in you. Help us to internalize the truth of being co-heirs with you and deeply loved by the Father.
Why do you think Satan chose to attack Jesus at his identity? How can you relate? What can we learn from Jesus’s example here?
This post was an excerpt from my new book Along with Jesus: An Easter Devotional. Grab your copy here to journey along with Jesus in the book of Luke this Lenten season as we anticipate Easter Sunday!
Also, if you would like a physical reminder of your identity in Christ, you may find these 8 scripture cards here in the She Pens Truth shop.
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