We think there are so many things we need. And need, is how we frame it. We can’t imagine not having that nice new car. We must have it. The new flat screen HD TV. Got to have it. The nice meal out. Must do it soon, even tonight.
Jesus challenges us to see our life in God’s world as the essence of what God is saying to us right now. That is the only thing that is important. Nothing else is. All else is an idol compared to our living God.
God’s Goal: We must see our life as Jesus challenges us. We must change our minds about what is important. We can live a life that is focused on that steady stream of God’s words that He gives us every moment of every day.
Here are the key ideas:
- The only thing that matters is God’s word, what God is saying right now.
- God’s goal is for us to hear what he is saying.
- The word of God comes to us out the love and goodness of God.
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.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Matthew 4:1–4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
This temptation of Jesus involved the love of God and the will of God. “Since You are God’s beloved Son, why doesn’t Your Father feed You? Why does He put You into this terrible wilderness?” This temptation sounded like Satan’s words to Eve in Genesis 3! It is a subtle suggestion that our Father does not love us.
But there was another suggestion: “Use Your divine powers to meet Your own needs.” When we put our physical needs ahead of our spiritual needs, we sin. When we allow circumstances to dictate our actions, instead of following God’s will, we sin. Jesus could have turned the stones into bread, but He would have been exercising His powers independently of the Father; and He came to obey the Father.
The Master quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 to defeat Satan. Feeding on and obeying God’s Word is more important than consuming physical food. In fact, it is our food.