Over Before It Started


I had a friend who told me this story: “I tucked my son into bed and did the usual things like helping with his pajamas, brushing his teeth, and saying prayers. We started to talk about his day, and at the end, I asked my son a question, ‘Who are you?’ He looked at me and said, ‘I am your son, and I am loved.’” The story has always stuck with me, especially as I continue to strive to find that answer.

  • How would you answer the question: Who are you?


4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’

11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was Jesus’ physical condition going into this passage (vs. 1)? What was the devil’s first temptation? Why did the devil start with the phrase, “If you are the Son of God”? What was Jesus’ response (vs. 4)? (See also Deuteronomy 8:3.)
  2. In the next temptation, the devil changed tactics and said, “I will give…” (vs. 5). How did Jesus respond to him (see also Deut. 6:13)?
  3. Again, the devil began his next temptation with, “If you are the Son of God,” and Jesus quickly replied with what truth from Scripture (vss. 9-12, see also Deut. 6:16)? Why was Jesus so confident in his responses?
  4. Jesus knew his identity was in God. What is one verse or passage of Scripture you can focus on to strengthen your identity in the Lord today?


Often we are asked, “If you are…” Our identity is constantly questioned, leaving us confused, defensive, and sometimes, simply lost. Jesus knew the Word of God, knew who he was, and therefore was strong in the face of the devil’s temptations. A strong and secure identity comes from a sincere relationship with God, built on the truth of God’s Word. Finding your identity in God is where freedom and peace will be found.

  • Pray that your identity would be as God’s son or daughter.
  • Ask God to equip you with his Word and to empower you to stand strong when you are tempted.