#848. Jesus is tempted to turn stones to bread (4/7/23)
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. This week, we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is and this week we are considering Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.
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‘Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.”’ (Luke 4:1-4)
Main idea: We must resist the temptation to believe that we can live on bread alone rather than on God’s word.
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In today’s lesson, we are to learn to live on the promises of God’s word, much like we rely on food for our physical strength. Too often, we can be completely devoted to regular meals but rather slack in our intake and diet of God’s word. This, in part, is because the devil is working to tempt us to doubt our need for the Bible.
We see how the devil comes to Jesus when He is vulnerable due to hunger. The devil strikes when and where we are most vulnerable.
What is this temptation about? The devil is tempting Jesus to trust His own word over the Father’s word. Jesus can use His word of command to change stones into bread and prove to the devil that He is the Son of God, or He can obey the Father’s word to fast and trust in His sustenance. To defend Himself, Jesus quotes from the book of Deuteronomy:
‘Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.’ (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)
Matthew’s account includes the whole quote:
‘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)
This account of Jesus is meant to parallel that of Israel in the wilderness for forty years. On one occasion, they were hungry and had grumbled and had become unfaithful. They had not trusted God’s word to provide for them. Israel had failed to love God’s word, and Jesus has this incident in mind as He quotes this text. Likewise, in this ‘wilderness’ of life, we have a choice on whether to love, trust, and live by faith in God’s word. Like Christ, we will live and thrive if we live on the Word and use the Word as food to sustain us and as a weapon to defend and attack lies.
The devil tempts Jesus to love his own word over that of the Father’s. He tempts Him to misuse His divine authority as the Son of God to serve Himself rather than in obedience. Likewise, the devil tempts us where we are vulnerable. He tempts us to hide, despise, or mistrust God’s revealed will. Like Christ, we must know the truth and then quote it back to our doubts and temptations, particularly in the area of provision for our needs.
Like Jesus, let’s not live on bread alone but on every word from God. Let’s learn to live on the promises of God’s word with as much devotion as we give to eating food for our physical strength. We may not have the power to turn stones into bread, but we do have the power to choose to Love or be apathetic, disobey or obey, to grumble or rejoice in God’s will as revealed in the Bible.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
There are no groups this week due to our week of prayer. Please go to Church News or contact the office for the Zoom Link and details.
We are having a shared prayer meeting with Vineyard Life Church Richmond on Tuesday evening (in the building) so let's do all that we can to be there. Would be great to have at least 50 of our members there.