September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’”—Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love bread! I know that sounds silly, but I genuinely love all kinds of bread. It’s my weakness. I can always be down for a slice of bread with butter or some Cuban bread. In Jesus’ time, people often ate bread with various meals. It was a grain they could easily gather and cook, so it became a staple in their society much like it has been for most societies in the world!
Knowing the value of bread in His day, Jesus uses bread to illustrate the importance of God’s Word. Although bread is often what sustained and provided nutrition to the people, Jesus proclaims that it’s not the only thing by which they should live. Instead, man should be sustained and nourished by every Word that comes from the mouth of God! What is even more incredible about this comparison that Jesus makes is the setting in which He is when He makes it. So, let’s backtrack to Matthew 3 in order to get a fuller picture.
In Matthew 3, Jesus comes to His cousin John the Baptist who was already preparing the way for Jesus’ own ministry. John baptizes Jesus and then He is led by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness where He fasts for forty days and nights and is tested by the devil. All of these tests aim to attack Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. Being fully God and fully man, Jesus still felt physically weak and exhausted from this fast. The enemy sought to attack Him in this weakness by telling Him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3 NIV). If Jesus wanted to, He could have proven Himself to be God by doing this, but He didn’t. He knew better than to act in pride which is what the devil wanted Him to do. He had self-control and knew that His identity didn’t have to be “proven” to anyone, let alone to the enemy.
As you continue reading, you’ll see there are two other instances where the devil tries testing Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus responds in the same way, using Scripture to combat the attacks and tricks of the enemy. This is what He means by Scripture being our sustainment and nourishment! Not only does the Bible give us truth we need to live in every day, but it gives us truth we need to fight the battles against darkness.
Not only is the Bible our bread, but it can also be viewed as “a lamp for [our] feet, a light on [our] path” (Psalm 119:105). Because of this, we must take to heart what Jesus urges us to do with His Word.
With the Word of God, we should . . .
Are you holding to God’s Word like it’s your daily bread? Let’s do that together today!
Pause: What does it mean to you that the Bible is like bread for us?
Practice: Read the full account of Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4 and take note of how He uses Scripture to combat the enemy. How can you implement this in your life?
Pray: Father God, thank You that Your holy Scripture is a source of sustainment and nourishment for me! I often neglect it, but help me to remember that in the same way my body needs food, my soul needs your Word. I want to meditate on Your truth and hide it in my heart. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.