07
Jan
13

Temptation #1

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4

Jesus is now preparing to begin his ministry, and he begins with a forty day fast in the desert. It does not say whether he was attended by anyone else, but my impression is that he spent this time alone, communing with God, and readying himself for the next three years.

The temptations brought about by Satan at the end of this forty days take three forms. The first is an appeal to Jesus' physical nature. After a forty day fast, Jesus would be weak and hungry. The human body is not made to go much beyond this without food, and would have already turned to consuming it's own muscle in order to stay alive. While hunger may tend to abate during this time, the body is crying out in NEED for some sustenance.

Satan's first attack on Jesus is along this line. Knowing how weakened Jesus was, he tempts him with two things – bread, and the chance to demonstrate his mighty power. Could Jesus have actually worked a miracle at this point and turned stones to bread? I think so, and the idea of a warm, freshly-baked loaf might have been tempting to some. But Jesus quotes scripture, rebukes Satan, and does not give in to the temptation of a physical nature.

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