After fasting for a few days Satan came and said “If you are the Son of God, why don’t you tell these stones to become bread?”
Jesus wanted to prove to Satan that he was truly the Son of God and so turned the stones to bread and also made manna rain from heaven upon the people in the desert.
Satan cursed at this. So he then took Jesus to the highest point of the temple at Jerusalem. “If you are the Son of God throw yourself down for the Bible says the angels will lift you up.”
Jesus realised Satan still didn’t believe he was the Son of God and so he threw himself off and commanded a legion of angels to attend him. They lifted him up and placed him back whilst singing, “Holy, holy, holy.” The people in Jerusalem, recognising the fulfilment of Malachi 3:1, cried out, “The Messiah has come!” They fell on their faces in reverence.
Not the Bible: The Ungospel of Matthew 4:2-7
How different the temptations would have gone if Jesus responded to Satan’s baiting line of “if you are the Son of God” with demonstrations of power.
So often we fall into this trap – we want to have our expertise recognised so we quote our credentials “graduate of Yale” or our position acknowledged so we add a title “Apostle” but we miss out on the most important thing about our identity: “child of God”.
I did. I heard God’s call to help parents teach their children about godly sexuality and to also reach out to those who didn’t fit in the church mould but my church didn’t support this vision. Sadly I had to choose between being obedient or staying in this church’s family. I chose obedience as I was told by the pastor that I would have “never have any influence”. I didn’t realise at the time how much that affected my spirit. I had heard God’s call right but I felt the need to prove my calling to others which came out through self-promotion and getting bums on seats regardless of whether they were right for the group. Of course it all fell apart and l was left with just two people. It was at this low point that I said to God “even if I only ever have these two people, I will sow into them everything I have”. That was the turning point – where I became more concerned with the calling than the image and that was where the blessing followed.
Whereas Jesus knew who He was, He knew He was loved by the Father (Jn 17:24) and so He was free to be faithful to His calling regardless of the opinions of others, regardless of how popular or unpopular He became. He moved listening to the audience of One who said “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:17)
Father help us to know this truth and act like sons rather than orphans who feel the need to try and prove that we are worthy of Your love and attention. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If God is speaking to you through this then you will find my post “CEO or Father” will also help you see more clearly your identity in Christ.