Posted by: Rina | November 20, 2008

The Temptation of Jesus, the Attack on His Identity

The following is a section of the book Who Do You Think You Are?  Discovering the Power of the Kingdom Identity. We will be posting several sections each week. To read the book by chapter, please click on the chapter links to the right of the screen.

The methods employed at the temptation of Jesus are the same methods that Satan employs against us today. It is important to understand the strategy behind Jesus’ temptation, so that we, too, may stand against him. Satan is, and always has been, the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). His method of assault is to convince us that we are something other than who God says we are. When Satan confronted Jesus, he challenged His identity. In two of the three temptations, he begins by saying “if you are the Son of God…”

The adversary knows that people who are not internally secure in their identity will eventually place themselves under his influence. He knows that if he can cause us to believe a lie about ourselves, he can keep us in bondage (Romans 8:15). Every temptation of Satan was a probe into the heart of Messiah. Satan asks Jesus to prove who He is, not because he was unaware, but because those who seek to prove their worth through worldly means place themselves under his authority (John 14:30). During His ministry, Jesus would continuously be challenged by those who did not believe who He was. Yet He refused to prove Himself, instead letting God bear witness to Him through miracles, signs, and wonders (John 5:36).

Before being led into the wilderness, Jesus received affirmations from God regarding His identity (the voice of the Father [Mat 3:17], the voice of the prophet [John 1:29], and the manifestation of the Spirit, [Mat 3:16]). He had no need to gain the approval or affirmation of anyone else, for He was secure in His relationship with His Father. Rather than answer Satan’s accusations against Him, Jesus points to Scripture. In essence, He responds by making it clear that man is to base his identity on the Word of God alone.

As Christians, we are to accept neither what Satan says about us, nor what the world says about us, nor even what we think about ourselves. Instead, like Jesus, we are to base our identity on the Word of God.

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