September 6, 2021
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4 NLT
Centuries before Jesus came to the planet by way of a righteous young woman’s womb, the psalmist David had written these words from his actual practice: “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). David lived in the very early days of the written Word of God, and much of the Old Testament was written after him, certainly Second Samuel and everything chronologically. The things that were written were largely passed on by faithful oral tradition and through faithful worship. The Ten Commandments and laws given through Moses, and the accounts of how people reaped consequences in broken relationship with God through their obedience or sin were well known to David. God spoke to him personally and through prophets like Nathan as well. He reported in this Psalm that the best way he knew to keep his life on track was to hide or store the words of God in his heart (meaning his mind).
Jesus grew up a Jewish boy, schooled at home and at synagogue in the words of God recorded on scrolls, read in the Temple, and passed down through the oral memory of those before Him. He was well familiar with David’s tool to keep His mind faithfully on track. When HE was here as a human He kept the words of God on His mind and ready for use, even though He was God Himself. All throughout His three years on Earth He relied on Scripture over and over again. It showed the mind of God and the workings of God.
Matthew records Satan’s direct attack on the mind of Jesus when He was in the wilderness, just before His ministry began in earnest. Jesus was exhausted and hungry, physically depleted, and Satan came to Him, as he always does in our weakness. He offered Jesus the three biggest temptations any human could face: the physical things our body needs and craves, the mental or emotional things required for security and confidence, and the spiritual issue of where our loyalty lies, who actually rules the kingdom of our heart. He found His source, resource, and victory in the Word of God.
- Since Jesus Himself relied on knowledge and familiarity with the Word of God to keep Himself stable, what does that say to you? What changes are needed in your daily life for you to be strong?