We Do Not Live By Bread Alone

4 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 4:4 (NLT)

This is the part where Jesus was lead to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He had fasted for forty days and forty nights. Then the devil came.

3 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.”
Matthew 4:3 (NLT)

Jesus answered,

4 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 4:4 (NLT)

This is the foundation text for our studies today. The devil challenged Jesus to turn stones into bread. The question is why bread? He knew Jesus was hungry. If he can make Jesus create bread, the bread could be used as temptations to break Jesus’ fast. Jesus knew about the devil’s ploy and replied ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ What does that mean?

Bread represents food, which is our daily necessity. Food is essential for us to keep on living. Jesus did not say we do not need it. What Jesus said was we should not live by food alone. Food is basically the aid for us to live on. It should not be the main reason we live for. We eat to live. We don’t live to eat.

I realize that many of us love to eat good food. God has no problem in this. In fact, God is the one who created a lot of delicious food and placed them on earth. It is obvious that God wants us to enjoy eating and have a great time in doing so. So, eating for fun is a godly pursuit. However, there is a limit on how much and often we should eat no matter how good we feel in eating. We should not neglect our health as we eat. Let me put it in another way. If you moderate your eating habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you will live a longer life. The longer you live, the more you get to eat. So, live healthy if you want to eat more.

What does Jesus mean by living by every word that comes from the mouth of God? Did he mean we must obey all the rules of theology? After all, theologians always claim that they are the only ones who know the God’s words. Anyone who defies them is defying God.

The answer is no. The Bible tells us that the theologians were Jesus greatest enemies. How can they represent God’s words? Jesus had even called the theologians as brood of vipers, white washed tombs and hypocrites. It must be obvious to us that God’s words cannot be theology.

The “every word that comes from the mouth of God” must therefore be the words in the Bible. God gave us his words for us to live by. His words are for our prosperity. If we focus on his words and not on bread, we will have more bread than we can ever hope or dream of. The main message of the above verse is, always put God’s words at the central of our focus and we will prosper exceedingly and abundantly above all we dare to ask or hope for.

That is not all. Have you wonder why Jesus did not just turn the stones into bread and still keep fasting? The answer is, he have no intention to subject himself to unnecessary temptations. He did not fall into the devil’s dare.

I remember one doctrine worshipper challenged me to put my hand to the poisonous snakes to prove my faith. My reply is why should I prove my faith to the worshippers of doctrines? Even if I want to do that, why must I choose poisonous snakes? If I am to put my hand to poisonous snakes, there can only be two outcomes. If my faith works, nothing happens and I am still alive. If my faith fails, I got bitten and die in agony. So, I have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

If I want to test my faith, I will choose a better way. For example, I will do it by causing a billion dollars to be transferred into my bank account. It my faith works, I am a billionaire. If my faith fails, nothing changes and I will live on as usual. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. This is called common sense.

In conclusion, there are two lessons for us to here: We need to live by the Word of God and common sense.

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