Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.' But he answered, It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
~ The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 4, vs 1-4 ~
This scene takes place just after Jesus Christ was baptized, completely filled with the Holy Spirit and then fasted 40 days in the wilderness. He has not yet entered His public ministry – this is the last phase of His testing before doing so.
Here, Jesus is tempted like Adam was tempted. Tempted to disobey God...tempted to satisfy His flesh desire – which here is extreme hunger – tempted to doubt God and to rely on His own abilities to get what He desires, rather than what His Father desires.
“Eat!,” says Satan: In this life, satisfy your own desires. Gratify yourself, because, well, “You Only Live Once.” This is the Clarion Call of the Devil and the flesh. Do not look toward our life after death or the divine – there is no other life to be satisfied than the here and now. "Eternity can wait – you have needs NOW, so go for it!"
In the Garden of Eden, God to told Adam that he could eat of any tree in the garden, except the fruit from “the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Why? Because God's desire is for His children to look to Him to be our standard of morality – our standard of right and wrong and our standard for how we should be living.
God says –
“‘Live for Eternity,’ do not live simply to satisfy your earthly cravings, for life is but 70-80-100yrs and then eternity comes – the true life. Listen to me and LIVE.”
Here we see Jesus – the wording is different – but it is the same scenario – Satan is trying to get Jesus to live for Himself, instead of something much, much bigger. Jesus does not think twice in His response to the serpent: “Man shall live by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (v4). He didn't say “I must live by...” But “Man shall live by...” Jesus came from the Father, to accomplish man's redemption and salvation. He knows that to "Live" is to follow our Creator and His advice for “How to Live.” That advice? Read God's word...become a student of the bible, and live it out in the ways God intended. Pray to the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth’s of God’s word and the wisdom and strength to live them out biblically, correctly. Another way of putting it could be – “Live by the Word of God, or Die by your own minds council.”
May we each set ourselves anew to learn the story of Man and of God – The Bible.
God's record to mankind of where we came from, how we got to where we are right now, and where we are destined to go. “Live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God, and LIVE!” God bless each of us this day. May live closer to God today, than yesterday.
Love 2 You! Pastor Chris