When he said this, he had been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights and the Bible states the obvious when it says that he was very hungry.
The Devil tried to target Jesus’ hunger as he tempted him with these words:
“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Let’s face it, if we were that hungry and we could turn stones into bread then we probably would do it!
Jesus though could see the bigger picture. Firstly, he didn’t have to prove that he was the son of God and secondly he could see that the most important thing was his relationship with God! So Jesus replied:
‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4.4)
It seems a fairly ironic statement! After all if someone doesn’t eat then they won’t live long.
To turn stones into bread in this instance would have been to disobey his heavenly father and so incredibly, inspirationally and selflessly, Jesus prioritizes his relationship with his heavenly father above his physical needs.
What is driving us? What is it that we think that we need most in life?
- Perhaps it is the essentials for survival such as food, water and shelter?
- Perhaps it is the essentials to thrive such as relationships, love, purpose and security?
- Perhaps it is the need to have more money and possessions?
- Perhaps it is our relationship with God?
Whatever we think that we need the most is the thing that will drive and dominate us. That thing will become our focus in life and it will determine our choices and lifestyle.
In that moment of absolute hunger, Jesus considered God’s words to be more precious than bread!
How about us?
Where does knowing God fit into our life priorities? Is he central to who we are and how we live or is knowing him something that we can take or leave as we choose?
When we pray is our primary concern our deepening of our relationship with him or are we more concerned about other things?
This first temptation in the wilderness challenges us about what we need the most in life. What is that thing for you?