Jesus had been fasting in the wilderness for forty days. He would have been hungry, tired, weak, and lonely. We’re told of the three temptations, but there’s a hidden fourth. Notice how the tempter begins the first two: “If you are the Son of God…” There’s not only the temptation to satisfy his physical hunger, to use the scriptures in self-serving ways, or to sacrifice his values for the admiration of others, but there is also the temptation to question his identity as the Son of God.
In many ways, the temptations we face deal with identity. As a follower of Jesus, what kind of person are you called to be? What kinds of things are you called to do and what are you called to avoid? The next time you are faced with some type of temptation, ask yourself, “As a child of God, should I think this way…speak this way…indulge in this…?”
In prayer, ask God for the desire to engage only in that which is life-giving and for the strength to resist that which is not.