I’ve been reading Luke 4 about the temptation of Jesus. Just before he goes into the wilderness to face the devil, he is told by God, “You are my beloved Son.” And then twice, and probably more times, he is confronted by the devil with the words, “If you really are the Son of God then act in the way the world most wants you to act… show your power; excite the people; gain popularity. And according to Matthew’s Gospel even the crowds at Jesus’ crucifixion said, ‘If you are the Son of God then come down from the cross.’ Those voices, and those words, haunt Jesus, who knows he doesn’t have to prove anything to the devil or the world, let alone that he is God’s beloved Son.
We face the temptations of voices in our heads, from family and friends, and the world’s crowds asking, ‘Are you sure you are the child of God?’ ‘Are you really God’s beloved?’ If you were wouldn’t you fit in better with this world by listening to those voices? If you were the child of God you would be smarter, sexier, richer, better looking, straighter, more sober, more religious.
But no matter who you are at this moment, you ARE THE BELOVED CHILD OF GOD.
The whole world is beloved by God before there is any addition of goodness or being better on our part. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world he gave his only Son…we ARE the beloved of God.
Even if you are reading this and don’t consider yourself a ‘believer in God’ please know you are loved by God and invited to trust Jesus not so you can ‘get into heaven’ but rather by trust to experience Christ’s life in the here and now. ‘Later’ will take care of itself. Jesus told everyone he met that the Kingdom, the reign, the love of God is here, right now, for everyone. Read Acts 17 sometime where Paul tells a bunch of philosophers that indeed we are all the offspring of God; and something else so wonderful – we have the DNA of God. Sure.
Read John 1:1-4: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.’
Jesus is the fullest expression of God’s DNA love.
Lent is a time for reflection and self-examination; not so that we feel shame for the wrong things we have done but so we can know, in the depths of our souls, that Jesus went to the cross to prove the love of God for you, and you, and you and me. So whatever your place in life right now know that you are loved and invited to share in the greatest life ever lived. I know that’s what I want.