by Eric Reeder
In the wilderness (the New Covenant place of being with Father, gaining from Him what you need), Jesus experienced what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden. We can connect the Garden to the Holy of Holies in the Temple. For us in the Superior Covenant, the wilderness is the same. The wilderness of the Old Testament was more like the outer court, where things had to die to move inward (a generation had to die before going in the promise land). In this wilderness/garden/holy of holies, Jesus is invaded with attempts of deception. Once again, the Last Adam (Jesus), was approached by satan/serpent looking to deceive Him out of the true view of who He was.
Deception, at its core, is wrong view of Father and wrong view of self. This leads to all kinds of wrong choices. The serpent deceived Adam by getting him to see himself incorrectly and see Father incorrectly. This led to choices which created damaging consequences and ramifications that rippled throughout. Jesus was faced with these same deceptions. Satan came to cause Jesus to have a wrong view of Himself and wrong view of Father.
Matthew 4:1-11 shows satan questioning if Jesus was the Son. This questioning was the attempt to get Jesus to step into PROVING instead of living at rest in the true reality. That's the typical game. If you don't see your sonship, you end up striving to prove through performance what you already are. Satan wanted Jesus to prove His sonship by doing something. Satan presented to Him something to do which was good and even needed (good to have bread and need to eat), but if the motive was to prove His sonship, it was a vain act. The second attempt satan tried was to get Jesus to show off Father. Satan basically said, if You're the Son, jump, and watch Father do something amazing. Once again, deception was trying to get Jesus to prove His sonship by displaying the awesomeness of Father. Now, we want to display the awesomeness and goodness of Father, but if it's being done to prove our sonship/value, then we are showing others Father without knowing Him ourselves. Jesus wasn't falling for it. A last deception came that changed the tactic. This time, the deception wasn't about sonship. It was about a wrong view of Father. Satan offered what wasn't his to buy out the value of Father. Father is the only one worthy of surrender and worship. Satan wanted Jesus to bow and worship. Deception was trying to get Jesus to determine who is worthy of worship and the surrender of our heart. It was calling Jesus to try and ascend the throne to be the Determiner of who gets worshiped. All of these attempts were in effort to create a wrong view of Father (no one can ascend Him or is worthy of worship/surrender), and wrong view of Jesus (His sonship was secured without performance or demand to produce).
Deception still works the same with us. We are always being presented with opportunities to respond in ways to PROVE our sonship while doing what is good. The question isn't rather we should do good (overcome evil with good, Romans 12:21), but it's about WHY we are doing good. Then, there are always attempts to get us to surrender and worship something other than Father (fear, doubt, anxiety, performance, law, check lists, approval, success, achieving, proving, etc.).
May we walk as Jesus did; secure in sonship and surrendered only to Father. That should always be the result of the wilderness.
Eric Reeder is joined by other leaders of RISEmovement to reveal the heartbeat of The HOPE-filled Gospel.