Then the devil took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and he said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written: ‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will lift You up, so that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, Satan tempted Jesus by taking Him up to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem. Overlooking the holy city, Satan challenged Jesus to test God’s approval of Him. If He would throw Himself down and God rescued Him, then He could prove He really was the Son of God.
Of course, Jesus was the Son of God. Just as He didn’t need to turn the stones into bread, neither did He need to test God’s rescue in order to prove it. Satan wanted Jesus to question His own identity and put God to the test to find validation. But Jesus knew who He was, and Satan wasn’t going to change that. Once again, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy in His response. Where Israel fell short, Jesus did not. God is not to be put to the test (Deut. 6:16). Israel continually questioned whether or not Yahweh was actually loyal to His people. The passage Jesus quoted referenced the time Moses was listening to the grumbling Israelites who were thirsty in the wilderness. They questioned Moses’ leadership and the Lord for bringing them into the desert to—from their perspective—kill them from thirst. Moses reminded them that they need not put God to the test; He had continually provided for all their needs.
But this, in fact, is our tendency when we find ourselves stretched, uncertain, or fearful. “God, if you really had my best interest at heart, then you would _______.” In our insecurity and fear, we forget who we are. We forget we are God’s son or daughter. We forget that He has already proven His love for us in the truest and most extravagant way in the person of Jesus. We don’t have to test His loyalty, because He has proved it on the cross.
- How are you tempted to doubt your own identity in Christ? How have you tried to put God to the test to prove He really is faithful to His Word?
- What truth about who God is do you need to remember in this season? What truth about who you are as His child do you need to remember?
- Take some time to name your own identity in Christ. Remember and acknowledge who He has said you are. Use that truth to combat any lies birthed out of insecurity or fear.