As we begin Chapter 4 we are presented with this account of the “testing” or “tribulation” of Jesus in the wilderness.
Afterward, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the lonely wilderness in order to reveal his strength against the accuser by going through the ordeal of testing. And after fasting for forty days, Jesus was extremely weak and famished. Then the tempter came to entice him to provide food by doing a miracle. So he said to Jesus, “How can you possibly be the Son of God and go hungry? Just order these stones to be turned into loaves of bread.” He answered, “The Scriptures say: Bread alone will not satisfy, but true life is found in every word, which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.” – Matthew 4:1-4
A note on the term of the fast here. 40 days. Moses and Elijah both fasted for forty days (Ex. 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8) The number 40 usually signifies passing a test or enduring a time of trial. It rained for 40 days in the time of Noah, and Jonah warned Ninevah for 40 days. God told Ezekial to lay on his right side for 40 days (Ezek 4:6)
All pretty interesting. I didn’t realize that the number 40 was so significant in the Bible.
In the 4th verse, Jesus states that the Scriptures say that man cannot live by bread alone. Nothing can satisfy the Son’s appetite but the words of God.
Then it gets interesting…
Deuteronomy 8:3 says this: “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
God had not given Jesus permission to turn stones into bread, and Jesus would not be pushed into prematurely demonstrating His power. He was content with the timing of the Father. He refused to turn stones into bread and feed himself, but he multiplied the bread for His hungry followers. Today He is still turning hearts of stone into living bread that will feed the nations with truth.
One phrase that sticks out to me here is that Jesus was content with the timing of the Father. Are you? Are you content with the timing of the Father? The timing of all that’s happening in your life. All that you’re waiting on, hoping for. All that you’re praying about.
Patience. A hard pill to swallow but a necessary one when we are walking with God. His timing is perfect, ours is almost always premature. Let’s practice patience today.