The Jesus Temptation Series Part 1: Know Who You Are In Christ
This is the start of The Jesus Temptation Series we will go through the three temptations that Jesus faced during His time in the desert.
VERSE PASSAGE: Matthew 4:1-3 "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.” - NIV
This event has to be one of my favorite. I have read story over a dozen times. Each time loving it more and more. This event that took place during the time that Jesus was in wilderness is so amazing to me and speaks volumes to me.
Let's break this down.
Not much of a start. But it actually is. We must start here because this is after Jesus had got baptized. Matthew chapter 3 goes over the baptism of Christ and then the next event occurs. The one in which we are talking about in Matthew chapter 4.
"Jesus was led by the Spirit"
Jesus gets baptized and then is led by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit prompts Jesus to go somewhere. See Jesus did not do things on His own accord. Jesus was led. Jesus knows the plan of His father and will follow it. Jesus was led and so He goes.
"into the wilderness"
A desolate place. A place where there is not help. Jesus was led to go somewhere without people around.
"to be tempted by the devil"
The Bible is straight forward with the intentions for going to the wilderness. There is reasoning for everything that goes on. And this was the plan of God and the Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted.
"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry"
There is something powerful about fasting. Jesus was led by the Spirit to encounter the tempter but it would not happen till after Jesus had fasted. Why? Because this was going to be a battle. When we are dealing with things as Christians we need to rely on God and not our own self. Jesus having fasted for that period made Him weak physically. Jesus' flesh was weak. But not His Spirit.
"The Tempter came to Him"
That is the nature of Satan. A common thing that Satan does is come to us when we are weak. Comes when we are down. Come to us when things aren't going our way or we are struggling with something that is making us wary.
"If you are the Son of God"
This is very powerful because of the way it has been worded. The devil did not admit or acknowledged Jesus as being the Son of God. He did not admit or proclaim Him to be deity and to be Messiah and Savior of the world. He did not admit Jesus to be the actually living and breathing Word of God. After Jesus had fasted 40 days and nights He was weak physically. He was tried and hungry. Then the tempter came and said "if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread"
See the devil is very crafty is how he words things to us. He could have said "Jesus turn these stones to bread", "Son of God turn these stones to bread", "Messiah turn these stones to bread". But he didn't. Why? Because if so he would have admitted to Jesus being deity, being the Son of God. The devil was here to tempt. He was here to make Jesus waiver in His faith of who He was. He tired to get Jesus to draw on the supernatural power of God to prove that He was Jesus Christ the Son of God. The devil was attacking something that is critical. Knowing who you are.
Unlike Jesus, we sometimes fall for this trick of the devil. We may say that we are arguing for some truth of the gospel, but many times we are hoping to convince ourselves. Someone who really knows who they are and what they believe, doesn't have to prove anything to anyone.
The devil was attacking Jesus and trying to get Jesus to question who He was. It may look like the devil was trying to get Jesus to performed a miracle but it's not. Remember the devil said "if you are the Son of God" that one word "if" is what changes this whole thing. Because adding the "if" in front of the request changed this to a setup. Because if Jesus accepted this request if you have made Jesus question who He was.
Again remember the devil did not admit that Jesus was the Son of God. He said "if you are" then "turn these stones to bread". Wow! How many times as Christians have you heard "if you are a Christian". The tempter will come and he will use that very line.
One thing I hate the most is Facebook pictures that say "share if you love God", "like if you love Jesus. Keep scrolling if you love the devil" because these are setups. These would cause someone to question whether they love God or not based on them sharing or liking Facebook picture. We live in a modern world and the devil will use every little thing to make us stumble in who we are in Christ Jesus! I don't need to share a lousy picture on Facebook to proclaim my Christianity or that I love the Lord. That is shameful! I don't need to like something or send something to 10 people to show I love God. You know why? Because I know who I am in Christ. I know who I serve. I know who God says that I am. I am His. I stand firmly on His Word.
The devil wants us to stumble with the "if" questions. Confide in the Lord. Let God build you up in confidence in who are in Him that you may not question who you are but that you stand firm knowing who are you.
God bless you my brothers and sisters in Christ.
• Matthew 4:1-3
Copyright © 2017 by Jacob D. Olinger