Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Man shall not live by bread alone
Vs 4 "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
According to the Gospel of Matthew, we come across this passage at the onset of Jesus’ ministry after His baptism at the Jordan River. Jesus spends forty days fasting in the wilderness, preparing for His mission. This parallels the forty days Moses fasted before receiving the ten commandments from God. We should understand the importance of a time of preparation before setting out to do God’s will.
During this time, we see satan approach Jesus to tempt Him to turn the stones to loaves of bread. Jesus answers in Matthew 4:4 -
“It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 from the Old Testament to defend satan’s attacks. Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. He could surely have turned the stones to bread but Christ did not use his supernatural powers for his own needs. There is nothing wrong with bread but satan uses the things around us to manipulate us by taking our eye off of God. Jesus’ focus was steadfast on the will of His Father. Are we willing to stay focused on God even during our difficult times?
Next Satan takes Jesus to the highest point of the temple and challenges Jesus to throw Himself down by quoting Psalms 91:11-12. Jesus responds with another passage from Deuteronomy 6:16. Another trick satan uses is to take scripture out of context and manipulate it for his purpose. Does satan work in our lives to manipulate the Word of God to say things out of context? Are we only focusing on certain verses and skipping those that make us comfortable?
Lastly satan takes Christ to a high mountain and says the entire world could all be Jesus’ if He fell down and worshiped the devil. By offering Jesus all the kingdoms, satan was offering Christ a short cut by not having to endure the cross. Again Jesus responds by quoting scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13. Christ did not make any compromises with satan. How many times are we looking for short cuts rather than being steadfast for God?
Through every temptation, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17) That should give us strength that we can use that same power when temptations arise. We can stand victorious because Jesus was victorious. As it is written in Hebrews 2:18 - For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Father God, Please strengthen us during times of temptation. Help us to stay focused on you and to take comfort that through Christ we have victory. Help us to not forget that we have the mighty sword of the Spirit, your Word to fight the enemy. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The first Adam met satan in the beautiful garden, while Jesus met satan in the wilderness. The first Adam met satan when he had everything, while Jesus met satan when he was fasting. The first Adam lost the battle and plunged humanity into sin and death while Jesus won the battle and saved humanity from sin and death through the cross. - Warren Wiersbe
Tom Philip, Redeemer Mar Thoma Church, NJ
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church