January 26, 2014
READ: Luke 4:1-11
[Jesus] was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry (v.2).
When our boys come home from school or return to the house from playing, they utter predictable words amidst moans: “I’m starving. I’m going to die if I don’t eat”. They descend on me and my wife like vultures, insisting they’ll keel over at any moment if food doesn’t arrive. Usually, however, as we list the healthy snacks available to them (nuts, fruit, yogurt), they brush each possibility aside. “No, I don’t want that. No, that doesn’t sound good”. Of course, I tell them what every parent throughout human existence has told their children in moments like this: “If you were really starving, you’d eat any of these. Obviously, you’re not that hungry”.
When the devil met Jesus in the wilderness, he tried to hit Jesus right in His belly. Since it had been 40 days since Jesus had enjoyed a meal, He was ravenous. The New Revised Standard Version says that Jesus was “famished”. Knowing Jesus’ weak spot, Satan enticed Him to turn a rock into bread.
Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy, however and said to the devil, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone’ ” (Luke 4:4; see also Deuteronomy 8:3). Now, Jesus knows as well as any of us that we do need staple foods like bread. If we’re to live, we must eat. What Jesus knew more than this, however, was that the bread we manage from our own resources will never satisfy our hunger. The bread we concoct will not be enough to keep us alive.
The bread we require in order to live must come from God. There’s a great temptation to believe that we can meet our needs on our own. We can make this attempt, but if we persist on this foolish path we will spiritually starve. We will die. —Winn Collier
Genesis 42:1-38 ‹
Read Deuteronomy 8:1-5, the passage Jesus quoted to the devil in the wilderness. Why did God allow Israel to hunger? What did He provide for His hungry people?
What are you truly hungry for? How are you tempted to assuage this hunger on your own, with your own kind of bread?