Author: Chad Hyatt
Reflection: v. 3, ‘The devil said to him, If you are…’
We have nothing to prove in order to be loved. We have nothing to prove in order to have worth. And yet. And yet we so often feel we do, we must. Because, let’s be honest, it seems the whole wide world around us tells us we do—perhaps not always directly but certainly indirectly. Our basic identity as beloved children of God is challenged everyday in countless ways. It’s challenged by racism, genderism, and poverty. The thing that is most true about ourselves, that should be the most intuitive, seems to us to be absolutely counterintuitive. We allow our worth and value to be determined by what we wear, what we look like, what we do, who we are with, who recognizes us. If you think Jesus doesn’t understand those struggles, trust me, he does. The temptation in the wilderness is nothing more than the devil throwing God’s love in his face and saying, ‘Prove it; prove you are really God’s Son, beloved and the source of God’s delight. Prove you are who God says you are.’ And Jesus shows us the way to stand in our belovedness as a child of God when the devil comes at us with the same kinds of demands. Jesus says, in effect, ‘No, I have nothing to prove; I know who I am.’ And that’s the grace we can hold onto, the grace to claim our identity and to not give it up—no matter what forces or voices or narratives—within our own head or without—make us feel as if we must prove it again and again. You have nothing to prove. You are beloved, child of God.
Prayer Spirit of Jesus, stay with us in our wilderness—stay when the devil and the world and our own thoughts demand that we prove what we cannot but never need to: that we are your beloved children.