February 09, 2015

Son of God

Matthew 4:1-11

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

—  Matthew 4:3

The first time we hear Jesus called by the title "Son of God," he is being addressed by the devil in the desert. While tempting Jesus, the devil calls him twice by that name.

At first, it seems that the tempter is questioning Jesus' divinity. But we've already heard at Jesus' baptism that God announced, "This is my Son" (Matthew 3:17). What the tempter means is "Since you are the Son of God, use your power to turn these stones into bread." In ­other words, the tempter is trying to lure Jesus into using his divine power for his own purposes.

Why is Jesus tempted? By being tempted, Jesus shows that he is human like us. And by overcoming temptation, he shows his ability to carry out his Father's will. Through his perfect obedience, Jesus will rescue us from the devil. Jesus' ­rejection of the devil's temptations also provides us the perfect model for enduring temptation. Jesus used words of Scripture to stand firm against the devil. We too must let God's holy Word resonate in us so that when we are tempted, the echo of his voice will guide our hearts, our desires, and our actions.

When you face temptation today, listen for God's voice and turn to Jesus, because he is able to help all who are tempted. And if you fail, get up and be assured that you are forgiven, because Jesus did not fail in rescuing us from sin.

Son of God, pioneer and perfecter of our faith, help us to hear the Father’s voice and to trust you in resisting the temptations we face today and every day. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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