Summary: There is a reason why so many of the values and beliefs of many in the Church are no different than the unchurched.
Good evening to the blessed of the Lord. I am so glad to see you. Would you join me in turning to Matthew 4 please. This a passage we’re very familiar with. It says:
(1) Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
(2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.
(3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Do you think that question caught Jesus off guard? Do you think Jesus hesitated as He search in His mind Old Testament passages that talked about bread and stones? You have to remember ladies and gentlemen, this was the same 12 year old who debated scripture with he religious leaders!
(4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Do you think Jesus chose this response by accident? Do you think He understood the context of the passage He chose as a response to Satan?
Let’s look in Deuteronomy 8, the passage from which Jesus quoted. I want you to see the context of this passage because it’s very important ladies and gentlemen. It sets the tone for everything Jesus does in His ministry.
(1) All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, [Man shall not live by bread alone.] that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.
Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And we see in this verse that when you do that, you will live, have children and possess your inheritance.
(2) And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, [What purpose did the Lord have in leading the people in the wilderness?] to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commands, or no.
Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone and, based on the context, the reason he does this is because he is being humble in his response to God’s commandments. And God will know what’s on the inside of him because of the way he responds.
(3) And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; [Why, why?] that he might make thee to know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
So Jesus is saying in Matthew 4:4 is that when God speaks the man is humble enough to listen and then obey,
Look in John 5, another verse we’re very familiar with. Remember I said that Jesus’ response in Matthew 4:4 set the tone for His ministry? “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Verse 19 says “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, [Was that true? Yes. He said it.] but what he seeth the Father do: for what things so ever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
Now, I was being facetious when I asked if what Jesus said about not being able to do anything other than what the Father said. He could have. But in Matthew 4:4 Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Jesus was humble enough to say that He would never speak anything His Father would not speak.
The reason I am pointing this out is because it takes humility to say I am not going to do what I want to do but what someone else wants me to do, in this case, my Father.
Now look at verse 30. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear [Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.], I judge: and my judgment is just; [Why was Jesus’ judgment just?] because I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
Do you see where we have gone so far? There is nothing that Jesus did in His life here on earth, and I’m going to say it this way, that did not have the Father’s approval. Are you with me?