Back in Luke 1:35, Gabriel told Mary her son would be called the Son of God. In today’s reading, Luke 3:22 shows the Spirit of God descending on her son as He was baptized and proclaims the voice of God saying, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” Then Luke caps off the genealogy of Jesus saying, “Jesus…the son of God.”
However, out of the starting gate, Jesus goes into the wilderness and is tempted by the devil. In two of the temptations, Satan said, “If you are the Son of God” (Luke 4:3, 9). The question was, “Do you really believe what God said to you at your baptism? Prove it.” No doubt, Satan was tempting Jesus to test God and worship him, but another subtle temptation is going on behind this. Satan wanted Jesus to question God’s word and promise to Him. Satan wanted to produce an identity crisis in Jesus. “If you were really God’s Son, then…”
Satan does that to me to. “If you were really a child of God, then you would do such and such, you would be better at this and that, you would never have done thus and so.” I can get really messed up spiritually about that because, unlike Jesus, I really have messed some things up. I really do have some things about which I can think, “Man, maybe I’m not really God’s child.”
The point I need to remember is that being God’s child is about being in Christ, it is not about relying on my own righteousness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m in Christ if I’m going off and doing my own thing. However, what it means is my mess ups as I’m growing in Christ are not reason for me to question my adoption by God. The reason He sent Jesus is because I’m a sinner. The reason He adopted me was not because I am perfect but to perfect me in His time. Philippians 2:12-13 says God is working on me. Romans 8:28-30 says that I will be conformed to Christ’s image because God has predestined that those who love Him will be conformed to His image.
Satan wants me to question my adoption as God’s child. I must not let him cause an identity crisis. I am God’s child. God loves me and sent my older brother Jesus to die for me. If God loved me so much to reconcile me by Jesus’ death, He will save me by Jesus’ life (Romans 5:10). I can have confidence in my identity as God’s child and I don’t have to prove it to me, to Satan or to anyone else. I can simply rest in that today.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
P.S. What struck you in today’s reading?