“Who am I?” (III)
Many people (including Christians) are accustomed to affirming their identities and their values based on their achievements, others’ opinion or validation of them, or their possessions. This is quite natural. However, by relying on these measures to prove our worth, we cannot get lasting peace; we will even feel like a roller coaster, going up and down, sometimes happy and, at other times, sad. How then should believers think of themselves? Jesus showed us a different way to this issue.
When the Devil tempted Jesus, he tried to give Jesus the values and affirmations of his identity in the three ways we discussed earlier. Satan tempted Jesus in this way: “Tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3), to prove to others what you can do; “Throw yourself down, for ... He will command his angels to lift you up in their hands” (Matthew 4:6), so you can be praised by others; “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9), so you can show people all that you possess.
We all know that Jesus used the Word of God to refute Satan’s temptations. However, we must ask, where did Jesus receive affirmation of his identity? How did he know who he was? The answer could be found before Jesus was tempted. After Jesus was baptised, there was a voice from heaven saying: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) This is the key! Jesus is the beloved Son of God. From the Heavenly Father’s love and his complete and unconditional acceptance of his son, Jesus was affirmed of his identity, and he no longer had to rely on achievement, fame, or possession to prove himself to others.
Brothers and sisters, do you know that we are all the beloved sons and daughters of God? Jesus said to his followers: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9). Yes, we all are the beloved sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:1). I urge you all to cherish your precious identity and to meditate often on this truth.
Whenever others ask “Who are you?”, I hope you clearly know who you are.