The devil opened his first two challenges to Jesus with the word “If”—“If you are the Son of God,” he said, and then made his proposals. “If you are the Son of God,” the devil said to Jesus, “then prove it.”
To whom was Jesus supposed to prove it? To himself? Just forty days before he had heard his Father say it but forty days can be a long time especially when they have been forty days of deprivation and trial.
For us, one day can be a long time, even without the deprivation and trial—so Lord, help us not to doubt that we are your beloved children and deliver us from trying to prove it to ourselves. Help us to rest in the knowledge that it is so.
Or was Jesus supposed to prove it to others? Perhaps the devil wanted Jesus to want to put on a big show; perhaps he wanted Jesus to want to demonstrate his status so that others would have to be amazed at the proof he offered. But perhaps had Jesus done so he would have amazed people by giving them a false image of what it meant for him to be the Son of God.
Lord, help us not try to prove to others that we are your children; help us rather to live lives of simple faith, love, grace and service and to trust you to cause others to see us as we really are and you as you really are.
“…saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God…’” (Matthew 4:6a).