But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Following his baptism by John, Jesus went into the dessert to face a series of temptations. Scripture often refers to Jesus as the Second Adam and his temptation in the wilderness is a key reason for that title Where the first Adam failed miserably in being obedient to God, Jesus, the Second Adam, demonstrated his unfailing obedience to the Father by handling every temptation the devil threw his way. This first of those temptations ties directly to the temptation faced by Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve were told not to eat from one particular tree in the garden. They had access to everything else but that one tree. They suffered no hunger of any kind. They had not area of life that they faced deprivation. All they were asked to do was trust the word of God and not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The serpent convinced them that they could not trust the word of God, that God was not concerned about their best interest and was only trying to keep them from experiencing something wonderful.
Jesus is in the dessert on a self imposed fast. He has no food, no water, no lush surroundings. He faces deprivation on every level, and he is also being tempted to eat. But he makes it clear that what matters most is not food that is a delight to the eyes and good to eat. Rather what matters most is to feed on the very words of God. Adam and Eve doubted the word of God and it led to the expulsion from the garden and our sin nature taking hold in every human being. Jesus fed on the word of God and it opened the door to our salvation and rescue from sin and death.
We live in a time in which biblical illiteracy is higher than it has been for generations if not centuries. We also live in a time when people are as confused as ever about what it means to be a Christian and what following Christ looks like. There is a vital connection between those two states of affairs. The failure on the part of many Christians to know and understand the most basic of biblical stories and teachings is a direct cause of the sad state of Christianity in the west today.
The lack of vitality and consistency in the faith is a result of people not feeding on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We have more resources to study the Bible at our finger tips than every before yet take less and less advantage of those resources. A daily feeding on the Word of God is the first step in a vital and vibrant relationship with Jesus. I wish I could say that this devotional was sufficient for that purpose but this is only a snack compared to the feast that is available for you if you would consistently and systematically study and apply the Bible to your life.