Jesus began to speak in the synagogue: ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’ But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me saying “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.” And he went on, “I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country”
the Holy Spirit descends upon Him bodily in the form of a dove and the Father’s voice says “Behold my son with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). These words are Jesus’ identity. He is who the Father says He is.
When the devil tempts Jesus in the desert in the forty days after the baptism, the devil tries to sow doubt into Jesus’ mind: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Matthew 4:3). The devil tries to make Jesus perform for him. He wants Jesus to prove He is the Son of God by deeds and not the words the Father spoke from the heavens. Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4). Jesus tells the devil, I am the Son of God not because of what I do, but because of what the Father said. I am who He says I am.
Jesus’ true identity is hidden from them because of all the other ways they have used to define Him. Soon they are so enraged by the new authority which flows out of the revelation of His true identity that they try to throw Him off a cliff.
Jesus’ victory on the cross has won a new identity for each of us. Now we are sons and daughters of God with whom the Father is well pleased. To take on our sonship or daughterhood, the old identities must be shed and left behind. This will confuse, upset, and sometimes enrage those who knew us before we heard the Father speak these words over us. For many, this can be a stumbling block to total conversion.