Temptation is a thing that we all deal with. Here is a brief study that I hope will encourage you.
After Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, He went into the wilderness. As we remember Matthew was written within the Hebrew understanding we can see a great parallel. Jesus went through the waters, just as the Nation of Israel did in the Great Exodus from Egypt many years before this event. He then goes from these waters into the wilderness, again, just as the ancient Israelites did. This is a striking parallel because we can see deliverance happening in both historical accounts. The Israelites were delivered from slavery to freedom out of the hands of the Egyptians, and Jesus delivers us from the slavery of sin into the freedom that exists in Him. We are no longer slaves to sin, but free from God’s wrath to live the lives that He has ordained for us to live. It is a striking parallel that we should not miss in the text.
In Matthew 4:1-3 we read: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ ”
Jesus, in the wilderness, fasted for forty days and forty nights and He was a bit hungry. The devil comes to Him and tempts Him to make bread out of some rocks. I find this pretty interesting here, because the devil starts out by saying “if” you are the Son of God make these stones into bread. Jesus is tempted in a way that we could not be tempted. I have to say that it has never been a temptation of mine to control my ability to make food from rocks. I have never walked on a mountain and thought I want to make this a large cake, but, no, I shouldn’t do that. I can’t make stones into bread. Jesus’ identity was at stake in the devil’s mind, and that is the first thing he attacked.
It is a fact that our identities as children of God are called into question by the deceiver. Who we really are as people can be called into question, and this is an effective tool that can be used against us and subsequently the Kingdom of God. The tempter is saying to us today: “If you are a child of God, than (fill in the blank.) We must remember the parallel that precedes this passage. There are waters of deliverance that we have passed through, but we are still in the wilderness of this world.
I encourage you to find your solidarity within a confident knowledge that you are God’s child. Your identity is not in question if you have made the most important decision. Have confidence in The Lord.
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Matthew 4: 3 – “And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ “