Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4
After fasting, which is going without food or other things in order to give greater attention to spiritual matters, for “forty days and forty night” Jesus “was hungry.” And Satan’s first temptation took advantage of Jesus’ physical hunger for food, it is important to note that this passage suggests that although Jesus did not eat food during this fast, he did drink water. And since hunger is one of the basic and strongest human drives this was certainly a difficult test for Jesus. However, in order to relate to our human struggles and overcome temptation in the same way we must, Jesus had to rely on the same power that is available to any Spirit-filled Christian. During the forty-day fast, it is reasonable assume that Jesus, through prayer and meditation on God’s Word, was strengthening and preparing himself for the work his Father has sent him to do.
Now let’s talk about the phrase “it is written”, and there two things that we must understand about this phrase “it is written”.
- The Greek verb “gegraptai”, meaning “it is written,” is in the perfect tense. This tense reflects that God’s command is both a completed action and a continuing state that results from that action. The full force of the statement in Greek is: “It has been written and it still stand written.” This points to the ongoing authority and unchanging nature of God’s Word.
- Jesus used God’s Word as an effective weapon against temptation; Satan tried to misuse God’s Word in order to tempt Jesus to sin. And at times, people who oppose God will also misuse the Bible in an attempt to persuade believers to do something they know is wrong or unwise. Some Bible passages, when taken out of context or not compared with other parts of God’s Word, may even seem to allow or support sinful behavior. Therefore, as followers of Christ we must know God’s Word thoroughly and beware of those who try to misuse Scripture in order to support their own opinions or satisfy their own selfish desires.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Numbers 8-9, Mark 13:14-37, Psalm 50:1-23 and Proverbs 10:29-30