Identity Crisis

Last Sunday, I preached from Luke 4:1-13 where Jesus is in the wilderness for 40 days and is tested by Satan.  While we looked at the whole text, I focused on the first text and will finish it up this Sunday.  In the text, Luke has gone to great lengths to establish Jesus’ identity- that Jesus is the Son of God.  God says as much in Luke 3:22 where Jesus is baptized and the Spirit descends upon Jesus in the form of a dove.  Then Luke goes into the genealogy of Jesus which reiterates that Jesus is God’s Son.

Interestingly enough, Satan immediately questions Jesus’ identity in the wilderness.  “If you are the Son of God”- is what Satan begins with.  Satan’s third temptation in Luke 4 also begins with that saying.  Throughout the account that Luke gives us- Jesus is certain in his identity and his trust that God will provide (remember he has been fasting for 40 days- some bread would be pretty good!).  Because Jesus is certain of his identity as God’s Son- he is able to withstand Satan’s test. 

How often do we give into temptation because we wrestle with identity- who we are?  Many of us are not comfortable in our own skin.  We can spend countless hours each week trying to convince ourselves that we are someone we are not- all in the effort to impress. 

In our efforts to be someone else- it is common for us to compromise our integrity and our beliefs.  We can lower our standards because we may be afraid that others won’t like who we really are.  We can set aside our faith in God because we don’t want to offend…we can forget that we are God’s children, co-heirs with Christ, and settle for something other than truly living.  If we are co-heirs, we get it all! We don’t need to be someone we are not to experience the fullness of God.  We live a life built on the foundation that God has made us co-heirs through Jesus Christ.

Lent is a time of self-examination.  As Christians, are we living as children of God?  Have we compromised our integrity, our faith, our status as co-heirs for something other than the fullness of Christ?  This Lent, let us live fully in the knowledge of who we are in God.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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