Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not by Bread Alone

Luke 4:1-4 (ESV)
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness [2] for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. [3] The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." [4] And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.' "

And He was hungry. It’s an odd thing Jesus not turning the stone into bread. The devil wants Jesus to prove to him that he is the Son of God. Jesus does so, by not turning the stone into bread. Jesus could have done that. But when Jesus doesn’t give in to the devil’s silly temptation, the devil knows Jesus truly is the Son of God and that he has some work to do. Man shall not live by bread alone. Luke ends it there. He doesn’t continue with all that about living off the word of God. He doesn’t have to the verse is cited, all of it, with just this little hint of it. There is more to life than bread.
Jesus foregoes the needs of this world, all the time making sure others do not go without. Had the devil been a beggar in need of food Jesus would have turned the stone to bread for the beggar, as hungry as he was. That is who Jesus is. It is how he works for us. He gives us what we need, paying little attention to what he needs. His needs, in reality, are already taken care of. Now ours are too. All because he refused to turn a stone into bread.
Jesus proves to us that he is the son of God by dying on the cross for our sins, and rising again from the dead. There he truly takes care of us. The devil’s temptation was really to get him to avoid that. But how often are we like the devil? Rather than being thankful for what Jesus has done for us, in giving us his body as true bread to eat, heavenly bread, we want him to prove himself to us by taking care of our wants, not our needs but our wants. You ever been there before? Whole segments of so called Christianity have been run afoul by this sort of thinking. The word faith movement, and Joel Olsteen. These guys make a living getting the average Joe to approach Jesus and faith as the devil in his temptations. Pay no mind that everything you have has been given to you by Jesus, already. Ask him to prove himself to you by giving you a boat.
Of course, all to often we aren’t as smart as the devil, Jesus refusal gets us to say silly things like, there is no God. What we really need to do is learn that man does not live by bread alone, but by the very word that comes from the Mouth of God, the word that says, “forgive them father they know not what they do.”


Bror Erickson said...

DR Bisher yesterday noted that because of Christ Christians took a completely new view of genealogies. They were no longer needed because the cross became our family tree when Christ became our identity.

Bror Erickson said...