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.’ ” Luke 4:1-4
If you are reading this I know you are not one but a lot of Christians pretty much ignore the Old Testament once they get out of Sunday school. However ignoring the Old Testament is like picking up a mystery and starting with the second half of the book. You may see how the story ends but it just might not make a lot of sense. We should read the Old Testament for no other reason than that Jesus often quoted it when he taught the people and debated with the Jewish establishment.
In today’s verses we see that after Jesus had spent forty days in the wilderness fasting and getting ready to begin His ministry that Satan approached Jesus with at least three temptations. Knowing how hungry Jesus was after His fast the first thing Satan tempts Jesus with is eating. He wants Jesus to use His powers to turn the stones around them into bread so Jesus can eat. Satan challenged Jesus to prove to Satan that Jesus was the Son of God by doing this miracle.
Jesus was not here on earth to prove anything to Satan and in fact Satan already knew the answer. From throughout the New Testament we learn that Jesus was not one who did miracles on command or to impress others. Jesus’ miracles were done to establish to the Jews that He was in fact their long awaited Messiah.
Jesus does not say no to Satan but quotes scripture to show why He would not turn the stones into bread. In this instance Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 where God is reminding the Israelites that when they were in the dessert God fed them manna which they had not seen before or since. And that their survival depended not on bread but the Word of God.
Whenever we run into some temptation we need to turn to God’s Word just as Jesus did. We can use it to help ourselves and others or to gently correct others who might want to lead us into temptation. That is why we need to read the Word. Not just the easy parts of only the parts we like but the entire Word of God. I can honestly say that I have found comfort and joy in each and every book even when I am going through who begat whom. We find that even when people fell short of God’s will that God picked them up and gave them another chance. In fact multiple chances. Just read how many times Israel fell away from God and God has always forgiven them and brought them back to Him. Jesus gives us a great example in today’s verses.
Have a blessed day,