The Book of Luke, The Temptation of Jesus, Part IV Ė Lesson 37
Luke 4:1-4, And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2Being forty days tempted of the devil And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
On several occasions Jesus Christ revealed to us his complete dedication to the Fatherís word in spite of any danger or damage to himself.
In our passage today Jesus Christ was starving but the satisfaction of his hunger was not more important to him than obeying his Fatherís word.
He was always about His Fatherís business.
Circumstances did not change this in him.
He was always single minded about his Fatherís business and the scriptures verify this to us.
Remember Peterís rebuke to the Lord when he was told by Jesus that he must suffer many things and be killed.
Peter took him and said ďBe it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.Ē
Peter was looking at the now and now, the immediate.
Peter had an agenda and that agenda did not include the death of Jesus Christ.
But Jesus Christ would have none of that kind of talk and he rebuked Peter soundly by saying in:
Matthew 16:21 ÖÖ Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Peter, you are not about my Fatherís business when you desire me to keep my life.
You are promoting the business of Satan which is to preach that this life is all that there is.
So, if that be true, then it is paramount for you to hang on to it and to do anything to do so.
If this be all there is, then it is worth everything to keep.
But the truth be that the things that are of men are temporal, but the things that are of God are eternal.
And again he stung Peter with a rebuke in the garden of Gethsemane when Peter attempted to thwart those who came to arrest Jesus by cutting off the ear of Malchus.
Jesus said in John 18:11, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Even though that cup would result in the most painful of deaths it was more important to the Lord Jesus to accept the cup because the cup was from his Father and he knew the Father would only have him do that which resulted in future blessing.
Jesus always had the power to change His circumstances, to satisfy His hunger, but He refused to go out of the will of God for the will of God was for him to fast, the will of God was for him to hunger.
You too are created to have free will.
You also have the power to change your circumstances.
You have the power to change that stone into bread by your own efforts, you have the power to determine your own destiny in this life but God alone retains the power to determine your destiny in the next.
The Lord Jesus Christ was desperately hungry and in danger of death but it was the will of God for him to be hungry.
When you do the will of God there is no guarantee that you will never be hungry or you will always be safe.
There is no guarantee that you will have all of your heartís desire, but there is a guarantee that God will never leave you nor forsake you.
That fact is to be the sustaining power in a Christianís life!
For the Lord Jesus Christ to have acted as Satan proposed would have been an act of disobedience to Godís word.
Man shall not live by bread alone and even though bread was important to the body to live there was a more important reason not to eat bread and that was to obey the word of God and thereby fulfill his will.
Another thing we learn from this passage is that Jesus, by not making the stone into bread, shows his great trust in the goodness and the guidance of God.
If Jesus Christ had disobeyed His Father it would have shown unbelief or distrust of the Fatherís care, distrust of His goodness, or distrust of His provision.
Donít you think that the Bible teaches that unbelief is the ultimate root of all disobedience.
If you disobey the word of God it is because of unbelief.
Christians carelessly call themselves believers but is that name backed up by obedience to Godís word?
Satan caused Adam and Eve to doubt Godís goodness and to not believe His word concerning any judgment for the eating of the forbidden fruit.
Israel murmured against God in the wilderness and demanded that God prove Himself because they doubted His goodness and guidance.
And it was all based on unbelief!
The statement that Man shall not live by bread alone tells us that life is more than physical survival and therefore there is more to its continuation than the eating of food.
Jesus Christ would not make the stone into bread in order to save his life because he was obedient to the Fatherís will and the Fatherís will was for him to fast.
In doing, and remember that he was a man, he told Satan that man was not to live by bread alone, but by every word out of the mouth of God.
To reinforce this principle the Lord Jesus Christ presented himself to Israel as ďthe bread of lifeĒ.
John 6:35, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
By believing in Him anyone may pass from death to life, they may find life in its fullest sense, not mere existence which only the bread of this world provides.
The bread of this world must be eaten again and again and if the eating of it ceases death will soon come.
But the eating of the bread of life which means the receiving of Jesus Christ as your Saviour will eternally satisfy your hunger and your thirst.
So Jesus alone could claim to be the only way, the only truth, the only life as John 14:6 tells us.
Satan has nothing to offer but a stone, that by your efforts can be turned into the bread of this world, and even this stone is not his to give.
Jesus Christ offers Himself as the bread of life to all who will believe in Him, He offers Himself as the source of life eternal.
Every day the clock turns and time itself presses you to trust in him and him alone and not in the bread of this world for the bread of this world never satisfies but always results in hunger again.
So the first temptation of the Lord Jesus instructs us that man has ultimately only one need and that need is God.
To know Him and to have fellowship is to possess life in its fullest, even if the path of following him leads to physical death.
Satan is always attempting to create the false perception of other, more pressing, needs.
Adam and Eve had everything they could ask for, and were kept from only one thing.
Satan set about to convince Eve that this one forbidden fruit was her one greatest need, a need so great that she could disobey God to attain it.
How foolish Eve was to turn her back on all that God meant to her, and yet this same deception is going on all about us, and even within us.
We live in an age when we confuse needs with wants and our wants turn us away from God as they did with Adam and Eve.
Satan desires for us to focus attention on what we do not have, rather than on Godís all sufficiency and the unending benefits of our relationship through Jesus Christ, with Him.
Jesus Christ tells us by passing this test of Satan that God is enough.
God is all sufficient.
To be found in Christ is all we should want, or ever need.
We should even be ready to set aside our physical life if by obeying God it is required.
Christ is to be our life, He is to be our sufficiency, he is to be our all, he is to be our preoccupation, he is to be our highest priority, he is to be preeminent!
Satan used materialism in the Garden to lead Eve astray and he has not found anything better to use to lead us astray.
Satan is not creative and has a limited arsenal of ideas but manís sin keeps him from ever learning the truth about Satan.
In the final analysis, the ultimate issue is our definition of ďlife.Ē
For Satan, ďlifeĒ was but mere physical existence to be ended by the deterioration of the body.
In order to maintain this kind of ďlifeĒ it was necessary, according to Satanís system, to disobey the will of the Father, to act independently and in rebellion against God.
Christís definition of ďlifeĒ was life in its fullness, life in fellowship, harmony, and union with God.
In order to maintain this kind of ďlifeĒ our Lord found it necessary to obey God, even it that meant experiencing physical death.
What does ďlifeĒ mean to us?
It doesnít mean much if you believe the world view.
Life doesnít mean much if you believe the television commercials.
The television commercials tell us that it doesnít get any better than this.
Grab all the gusto for you only go around once in life.
Life is short, live it! If it feels good, do it!
Satanís view of life is a very superficial view of life.
Col. 3:4, When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
More than this, for the Christian, life is Christ.
Phil. 1:21, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Satan only offers the stone, he offers you to work your whole life to make the stone into bread but this lifeís work will only result in eternal death with him in hell.
Many have taken the stone and made great works and great wealth from it, but the end result is still death.
But Godís message is that he has worked for you.
He provides all the bread you need though his son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-10, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
So Christ in this first temptation, offers you the true bread of life, true eternal life and calls on you to never settle for the stone which Satan has to offer.