Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: 2 Chronicles 28-30
New Testament Reading: Matthew 4
He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).
When building a house, carpenters will use a row of 2X4s 16 inches apart to form a wall to support the ceiling, roof, and floors above. When there isn’t room for a wall such as an opening for a staircase, a corner post for a porch roof, or a post to support a deck, the carpenter turns to a much stronger 4X4 for added support.
In Matthew chapter four verse four, Jesus explains where our strength and support for our daily walk with Him comes from. It’s our spiritual 4X4.
In the first of three temptations, Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (v3). Satan was suggesting to Jesus, “you haven’t eaten in 40 days, you’re hungry, use your divine powers to meet your own needs”. Whenever 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 easily turned the stones into bread. Instead, He turned to God’s word. It is written. Jesus’ response to each of Satin’s temptations began the same way. Jesus understood that standing against temptation required standing on the truth of Scripture.
Jesus then quotes Dt 8:3 Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (v4). (Did you know Jesus quoted Deuteronomy more than any other book of the Bible?)
The Lord had verses ready for moments of need. No smartphones, no Wi-Fi, and not even a physical Bible or concordance to thumb through. Instead, Jesus had passages from the Bible memorized. The Lord prepared for years for this moment of temptation—and for all others that would follow.
It is important to note that Jesus faced the enemy as a man, not as the Son of God. His first word was, Man must not live on bread alone not “I must not …” We must not think that Jesus used His divine powers to overcome temptation—that is exactly what Satan wanted Him to do!
Jesus used the spiritual resources that are available to us today; the power of the Holy Spirit (v1), and the power of the Word of God (v4). For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15).
Like Jesus, our success in overcoming temptation begins long before temptation comes our way. Daily Bible reading, meditation, and memorization remain essential preparation if we want to stay strong when sin tugs at our will. Just as we need a daily intake of food to stay physically strong and healthy, we also need a daily intake of spiritual food from God’s Word to stay strong spiritually. We need our spiritual 4X4.