Reading through this chapter, I kept coming to one realization. Jesus was fasting in the desert for 40 days. Yes 40 days! This wasn’t a cozy, drink only juice fast or eat only vegetables. Although there is nothing wrong with that type of fasting, the point is that it was rough! This was 40 days, in the desert with water only. Did I mention it was in the desert?
If we take time to let that soak in, it will just amaze you how difficult this must have been. Let’s get into the circumstances of where Jesus was and what He must have experienced. The desert is hot, dry heat. No air conditioning, no fans, no pool to cool off in. Sand between your toes, sweat dripping down your face, and the sun glaring in your eyes. To say that this would wear on you is an understatement by far. These conditions alone would be tough even if you had food and water.
So Jesus is in this incredibly rough environment starving, hungry for food. He is probably hot, drained, and ready for a good meal. Along comes the devil to tempt Jesus. So here Jesus is hungry, tired, probably dehydrated to some extent, and sweaty. The devil says to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” This may not sound like much at first glance, but think about it. Think about the circumstances Jesus is in. The devil comes in and taunts Him to do a very mundane thing, turning a stone into bread. This is Jesus! He could do that anytime He wanted!
Here is where it gets interesting. If Jesus were anything like me, He would be ready to show up the devil. I would throw down a huge feast, a buffet. He could have made servants appear loads of food and water come in on camels. But see how Jesus responds. Jesus answers, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'” Luke 4:4. Again the devil tempts Jesus by leading Him up to a place showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. Promising Him to give it all to Jesus if He will only worship the devil.
Again, Jesus does the unthinkable. Jesus responds, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'” At this point I would have called in airstrikes showing the devil what’s up! The devil didn’t stop there. The devil lead him to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem and challenges Jesus again. “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.” Now the devil starts to quote scripture. “For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your against a stone.'” Luke 4:10-11
Jesus replied to the devil by saying “It says” ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Luke 4.12 Out of all the ways Jesus could have replied He chose scripture. He could have put the devil away without blinking. Jesus chose scripture!!
What does this say to us as followers of Christ? If Jesus had all the power of God with Him and He chose scripture to fight over everything else, shouldn’t we do the same? That shows us how powerful scripture is.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double‑edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12” http://bible.us/Heb4.12.NIV84
I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to learn God’s Word. What are your thoughts? Have you ever used scripture to fight?