What Jesus Did! 'True Bread, True Word' — Matthew 4:2-4

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. After this, he was very hungry. The devil came to Jesus to tempt him. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written {in the Scriptures}, 'It is not just bread that keeps people alive. People's lives depend on what God says.'"
— Matthew 4:2-4
Illustration of Matthew 4:2-4 — "If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread."   ——   "It is written {in the Scriptures}, 'It is not just bread that keeps people alive. People's lives depend on what God says.'"

Key Thought

Just as Israel faced the battle of temptation in the desert, Jesus does, too. But unlike Israel which always seemed to get hung up on physical needs rather than following God, Jesus chose to honor and focus on the Father rather than himself. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the two great temptation crises of his ministry: his temptations here and in the Garden shortly before his death. In both situations, and all the others in between, Jesus chose God's will and God's glory over his own needs and desires. God's word, God's will, was what Jesus fed on more than physical food. He is our example that we should not try to live a day without our spiritual food or our souls will be hungrier than our bellies on a 40 day fast!

Today's Prayer

O Father, God, who fills every empty place and fulfills every need, stir me to a holy hunger for your Word and an insatiable appetite to do your will. I confess that I find it so hard to keep my mind off the distractions my undisciplined appetite craves, so please help me learn that my only lasting answer to true hunger is with you. Through the grace of Jesus' intercession I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. Jesus was taken there to be tempted by the devil. Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. After this, he was very hungry. The devil came to Jesus to tempt him. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'It is not just bread that keeps people alive. People's lives depend on what God says.'" Then the devil led Jesus to the holy city (Jerusalem). The devil put Jesus on a very high place on the temple. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off. Why? Because it is written {in the Scriptures }, 'God will command his angels for you, and their hands will catch you, so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.'" Jesus answered him, "It also says {in the Scriptures }, 'You must not test (doubt) the Lord your God.'" Then the devil led Jesus to the top of a very high mountain. The devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, and all the great things that are in those kingdoms. The devil said, "If you will bow down and worship me, I will give you all these things." Jesus said to the devil, "Go away from me, Satan! It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'You must worship the Lord your God. Serve only him!'" So the devil left Jesus. And then some angels came to Jesus and helped him.

Matthew 4:1-11

Related Scripture Readings

While the woman was in town, Jesus' followers were begging him, "Teacher, eat something!" Jesus said, "My food is to do what the One (God) who sent me wants me to do. My food is to finish the work that he gave me to do.

John 4:31, 34

Then Jesus said, "I am the bread that gives life. The person that comes to me will never be hungry. The person that believes in me will never be thirsty. I came down from heaven to do what God wants me to do. I did not come to do what I want to do.

John 6:35, 38

Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus said to his followers, "Sit here while I go there and pray." Jesus told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to come with him. Then Jesus began to be very sad and troubled. Jesus said to Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, "My soul is full of sorrow. My heart is breaking with sadness. Stay awake here with me and wait." Then Jesus walked a little farther away from them. Jesus fell to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, don't give me this cup {of suffering}. But do what you want, not what I want." Then Jesus went back to his followers. Jesus found his followers sleeping. Jesus said to Peter, "You men could not stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right. But your body is weak." Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this {painful} thing to be taken from me, and if I must do it, then I pray that what you want will be done."

Matthew 26:36-42

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.