Scriptures: Matthew 3:13 – 4:11
Tonight we’re going to look at the passage of scripture that gives us a detailed account of when Jesus was baptized by John the baptist and then how he went out into the desert to be tempted by Satan. While we look at these scriptures we’re going to simply look at what I feel like God is speaking to us from this scripture and then at the end we will talk about what we should do about what God is saying to us.
Affirmation of the Father – The first thing that happens following Jesus’ baptism is that the Father affirms him publicly. He declares that Jesus is His son and that He is immensely pleased with Him. These statements were all affirming the true identity of Jesus.
Why is walking in our identity important? – To Jesus walking in His identity was everything. We see that Jesus did not start his public ministry until he received the public affirmation from the father of His identity. This moment of affirmation launched him into His destiny as the son of God.
Knowing our identity changes the way we will forever live our lives. Belief, expectation diagram.
Three Ways Jesus is tempted in MAtthew 4:1-11 (from Mike Breen, 3dm)
1. Appetite – The first way Satan tries to tempt Jesus is through his appetites. Jesus knew that as God’s son that His Father would take really good care of him and provide for his needs. Satan tried to tempt him to take things into his own hands and to feed his fleshly desires rather than walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit who led him out into the desert to fast for 40 days.
- Matthew 7:7-12
- All of these temptations are how satan wants to call us out of our identity and into thinking like an orphan.
- Common ways satan might tempt us in this way
- What we can do about it
- Devour God’s word every day and let that satisfy us
- Fasting and prayer to curb our fleshly appetites
2. Affirmation – The second way that satan tries to tempt Jesus is through the area of seeking affirmation from others. He challenges him again that “if” he really is a son then he would jump down from the temple as a public spectacle for all to see that His father would rescue him and take care of him. The important focus isn’t the idea of Jesus jumping off the temple but rather is the fact that many would have been standing there to watch. Satan wanted to tempt Jesus to try and prove to the public his identity. Satan was trying to compel Jesus to jump because his reasoning is that angels would rescue him, many would watch and applause and they would publicly affirm him.
- Matthew 6:1-11
- All of these temptations are ways that Satan will try and get us to prove our identity through the affirmation of others rather than walking in the understanding of our affirmation from the Father.
- Common ways satan might tempt us in this way:
- Social media
- Gaining likes, approval, comments, quotes, online
- Seeking public recognition and approval
- Seeking to be seen and noticed by others
- Social media
- What we can do about it:
- Do things in secret and things that no one notices or hears about
- Take time off social media
- Find ways to gain the affirmation of the Father in times of getting away with Him in the secret place.
3. Ambition – The third and final way that satan tries to tempt Jesus to step outside of walking in His identity as the son of God is by tempting him through the area of his ambitions. Satan offers all of the world’s Kingdoms to Jesus. There can’t be much more ambition than the idea of ruling the earth! The reality for Jesus is that he actually was called to rule the earth as the Messiah. Satan wasn’t trying to tempt him in an area that was outside of his calling. Satan was trying to see if Jesus would be willing to question his identity and the goodness of the Father. Satan knew that if Jesus questioned his identity or the goodness of the Father that he might take things into his own hands and through personal ambition try and achieve the assignment and destiny that had been given to him from the Father.
- What we need to be aware about this temptation for ourselves is that Satan actually used the calling and destiny that was on Jesus’ life to tempt him in the area of ambition. Satan can try and also tempt us in those areas that God has called us to take things into our own hands and to achieve our destiny through our own self efforts, self promotion and selfish ambition. Giving into this temptation can actually appear good on the outside but the truth is that we’re operating outside of our true God given identity.
- When we know our identity we know that we don’t have to prove our worth and value through success and achieving goals and dreams.
- Vs – 10 – worship only God – Jesus is pointing to the fact that when satan tempts us in this area he is trying to either get us to worship him, this world system or to worship ourselves in order to gain success. Satan wants us to think that this ambition and success will cause us to feel like we’ve accomplished all we’ve ever wanted and needed. The reality is that this will never leave us satisfied but always wanting more.
- Common ways that satan might tempt us:
- Through success in our jobs, families, ministries
- Never ending bigger, better dream chasing
- To manipulate and control in order to get what we think we deserve
- Politic our way up the ladders to success
- What We can do about it:
- Create rhythms in our life to rest and trust God’s plan for our lives
- Find ways to promote the success of others and to relinquish control
God has called us into His family through what Jesus did on the cross for us. We were orphaned and separated from the family because of our sin. Thankfully Jesus paid the price so that we could be brought back into the family and be called sons and daughters of God. Everything in our lives as Chris followers must flow from this most simple and basic truth. God wants us to know our identity so that when satan comes to tempt us we can easily stand firm and refute those lies with the truth of God’s word.