Matthew 4:4 – December 26, 2018

He said in reply, “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 NABRE     

We move quickly from the birth of Jesus to a scene at the beginning of Jesus ministry. He has been baptized by John in the Jordan River and he goes off to the desert to be alone praying and readying Himself for the next three years of intense teaching followed by the suffering He will endure to save us all from eternal death. While in the desert Jesus fasts and prays for forty days and nights. Near the end of His experience He is approached by the devil to be tempted three times. His first temptation is about turning stones in to bread. Jesus quotes a saying from Moses (Deuteronomy 8:3). He does not deny the need for bread but he prioritizes the Word of God above this need. We should learn from this that our physical needs are not our greatest needs. The Word of the Lord is more essential sustenance for life than bread. Jesus refuses to prioritize the cravings of His body over the higher obligation to do the will of His Father in all circumstances.

@henrinouwensociety teaches on the three temptations of Christ making them more applicable to our lives today. He describes the stone to bread temptation as a desire for relevance. This first temptation he says is about wanting to be someone, to be identified by some special characteristics, like we are what we produce, or we are where we work, or what we own, or how much money we have. It is a desire to be important. We want to be known as productive, successful, efficient, words that are applauded by culture. But Henri says, we need to travel downward, to be less and less, and to be able to detach ourselves from our reputation. We should let God’s Word shape us.

How do you identify yourself? What could you let go of and let God handle?

The Word of the Lord is more essential sustenance for life than bread. Jesus refuses to prioritize the cravings of His body over the higher obligation to do the will of His Father in all circumstances. Click To Tweet

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