Monday, January 17, 2022


Mathew 4 verse 1 - 4 gives an account of the first temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The passage goes like this;

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

The Lord, hungry after a protracted fast, resisted the temptation to follow the will of the flesh to gratify itself with bread by quoting Deuteonomy 8 verse 3 that says this;

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.

Here, the principal is established that the paramount sustenance for man is not earthly bread but rather every word that comes out of the mouth of God.

Jesus, in John 4 verse 31 - 34, just after conversing with the woman at the well, discusses food with His disciples. In this passage, the principal of being sustained by the word that comes from the mouth of God is brought into sharp focus;

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

Here, Jesus says that man does not live on bread alone but that His food is to do the will of Him who sent Him. This is an exposition on the passage in Mathew that says that man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

These companion scriptures, when looked at together, bring out the weight of what Jesus is communicating to us.

Firstly, and most basic, physical bread is not the primary sustaining source for mankind but rather, obedience to the word of God is the true sustainance for men.

Secondly, whereas the tempter insinuated that the test for the validity of the title, "Son of God",  was whether or not He could turn stones into bread, Jesus asserted that the true test for the validity of the title, "Son of God", was whether  or not He lived on every word that came from the mouth of God by obeying it.

This revealing statement by Jesus then makes us look at Him again and consider how He obeyed the word that came from the mouth of God even unto death on a cross.

In fact, when Jesus was on the cross and about to die, He shouted, "It is finished" which was referencing the passage in John 4 verse 4 where Jesus said His food was to do the will of Him who sent him, "and to finish his work".

Another thunderous unspoken assertion that was contained in that statement by Jesus was that the tempter himself was disqualified from conducting a test of the validity of the title, "Son of God",  because he had failed his own test of heeding the word of God and had instead  said in his heart, “... ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.

Here the tempter is taken to task for diameteically pursuing his own ambition and his own will rather than pursuing the will of God and thus could not be an authority on what the Son of God could and could not do.

These passages also hint at a hidden dynamic  at work. God is Spirit  (John 4:24) and man is spirit, soul and flesh. What is truly wonderous is that the word proceeds out of the mouth of God who is Spirit, is heard by the spirit of a man, then translated into earthly instructions and then is carried out by the soul using  the physically body of a man. 

It is like being a stepdown-transformer for the will of God to the earth and the implication is that to be in the service of God in this way is to be a conduit for God's will upon the earth and acting as that vessel incurs the sustaining power of the life of God which supersedes mere bread as the sustenance of man.

Bless the Lord our God who sustains us. 


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