Matthew: Jesus’ Fasting

Continuing on with my study of Jesus’ spoken words we arrive at Matthew 4:4.

The next words Jesus spoke are recorded by Matthew and were spoken to the devil himself.

Jesus is in the desert where he has been fasting (no food consumption, but water and possibly goats milk) for forty days.

In case you are wondering if this is an outlandish tale in the Bible, check out the following websites, or just research fasting on your own. Yes this is humanly possible and extremely excruciating. http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm http://paleoleap.com/long-fasts/

Jesus tells the devil a very important message. But this message wasn’t for the devil, it was for us.

“It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

What does this mean? It means that we must continually seek God and His knowledge.

The human spirit needs food just as much as the body does. There is a hunger in each human for spiritual fulfillment. God put that hunger in each of us so we would seek Him and commune with Him. So we would come to Him to be filled.

Satan uses this hunger to lead us a stray as much as he can. Hence all the different “religions” in the world. Not just the religions themselves but the different beliefs and it seems that  twists on religions are constantly evolving.

Religion won’t fulfill this hunger, only God can do that.

When humans deny this hunger such as nihilists, let’s just say they end up being greedy, unpleasant and miserable people. (Some studies show the suicide rate is higher among those with the nihilist belief system.)

Looking at this we understand what Jesus meant when he addressed the devil.

He had been in the desert for forty days.

He had not eaten anything in that amount of time and here comes the devil with his temptation.

I have always imagined the devil with a large juicy ,steaming steak, holding it in front of Jesus. Probably nothing like the picture below, but doesn’t that look tempting?

steak

Jesus responds simply, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

To me it’s an easy and true statement. One that would do a lot of people good if they took these words to heart.

It’s not just the food we eat that sustains our life. Communion with God is just as necessary.

This doesn’t mean you have to go to church, but you should pick up your Bible and read a passage or two to understand the great things God has done and wants to do for you. It also means to pray, just talk to God and you would be amazed at the insight He can give you about life’s problems. But be warned, your not always going to like what you hear.

 

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