Verse: Matthew 4:3-4
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.’”

At this point, Jesus has been in the desert, fasting. Maybe he feels hungry, maybe he is past the point of feeling hungry. The only thing I know is that he has been 40 days in the wilderness without food, but he had been baptized right before this and the dove had come to rest in his shoulder. Luke’s account of this same 40 days states that at this point he was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus doesn’t even engage Satan with an argument about proof of his deity. He has no need to prove himself, and knows that Satan is perfectly aware of who he is. Maybe somewhere in there, the human temptation to question our own identity was popping up. But he payed it no mind. He skipped right over the question of identity and addressed the issue of hunger. We are not told what particular human vulnerabilities Jesus may have struggled with. The Biblical accounts portray Jesus as someone who was sure of who he was from a young age. But we can’t know for sure. Maybe Satan can’t understand a nature like his. So he hit where other humans maybe would be more susceptible. This got me to thinking about other areas where I am susceptible to being led in the wrong direction.

For me, maybe if the enemy came on like a rowdy kid, annoying, talking over people, mocking others, or being generally self centered, it would throw me off and make me snap in a way that didn’t represent God, or the authority He has given me, well. Or maybe he would come at me in another way, intelligent, humorous, seemingly considerate and using good vocabulary words. Maybe his mellifluous voice would lull me into a state of self-congratulatory malleability, and I would allow truth to be twisted in my mind in a more subtle way. Maybe he would just convince me to use fancy words in my devotion that would turn people off. But I think it’s important to think about he things that make us vulnerable to forget who we are or what we know to be true.

And Jesus’ response to Satan is everything. He doesn’t take the bait. He brushes past questions of his deity and goes straight to the bread. How it’s not the only thing he needs to live. Not that it isn’t needed, but that’s also he needs every word that comes from the mouth of God. Not just the words we hear at certain holidays or in many songs. Every word. I know it’s not feasible for most people to memorize the whole Bible. But this makes me want to! It makes me want to read and take in the word of God so that it’s there, inside of me when I need it. It’s protection, it’s truth, it’s peace, it’s authority,  it’s love, and much more. It’s the answer for anything that Satan might throw our way.

Jesus, thank you for your example and for your Word. Help us to make it a priority to read it and study it and know it better, so that when we need it, we have it ready. Amen.

Author: Emily Costa