Who Do You Claim To Be? Part 1

11 03 2009

When you ask yourself “Who am I?” what answer do you get? Some will answer I am a bank teller or a sales clerk. Others will say I am an athlete or maybe even a superstar. How you view yourself says volumes to the world around you, and if we are not careful our view of ourself can fall into pride.

It is said of Mohammed Ali that he got the title “The Greatest” by proclaiming himself as “The Greatest”. However, just because someone claims something doesn’t always mean that it is true.

Gaining a true understanding of yourself can only happen when you are open and honest with yourself. When you look into the mirror each morning and see a hair out of place you stop and fix it. So, you should also stop when you see something out of place in your life and take the time to correct it.

Jesus took the humble road in life. Even though he had every right to boldly proclaim he was great He chose rather to let His Heavenly Father speak on his behalf. We see one example of this in Matthew 3:16-17.

16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

It was soon after this that Jesus was being tempted by satan in the wilderness. We find that satan tempted him on what seems to be three different occasions. However, a closer look at these temptations will show there were actually more than three temptations. It is in this revelation that we can learn several valuable lessons.

First satan tempts Jesus in Matthew 4:3

3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Second temptation in Matthew 4:5-6

5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: 
   ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you, 
      and they will lift you up in their hands, 
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Third temptation in Matthew 4:8-9

 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Look at how satan asks the first two questions. “If you are the Son of God…” We can clearly see that satan was trying to make Jesus doubt who he was.

God had just proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God in the previous chapter. Now, satan comes to him and says “If you are the Son of God…” This is typical of satan as he is the father of lies. He is the exact opposite of faith, which is doubt.

I find the replies of Jesus full of wisdom. He completely ignores the doubt and doesn’t even address it. You see, Jesus knew who he was and that was good enough. He did not have to defend himself by debating with satan on his Sonship, so maybe He simply chose to ignore satan on this issue.

I recently attended a bible study with a friend of mine. The study was discussing the meekness of Christ. It is awesome to think about how meek and humble Christ is. Christ is the epitome of humbleness and meekness.

Jesus was God Incarnate but yet he was also fully human. Knowing the weakness of the flesh He chose not to proclaim his diety, but rather to humble himself in the sight of God.

Phillipians 2:6-10

 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Maybe that is why God chose to proclaim the Sonship of Christ as he did. For if Christ boldly proclaimed it in the flesh it could have conceived pride. I am thinking out loud here so if anyone has something that contradicts me on this than by all means post it so I can review it.

So, who do you claim to be? When the tempter comes to you how do you answer?

The “If You Are” Trap

Well this post is getting way too long so I am going to continue this in another post. I don’t like reading posts that go on forever so I won’t make you do the same….

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