Hanging on Every Word

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4

Much is written about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Scholars see many allusions to Israel (for example the importance of the number 40), or certain phrases like, “If you are the Son of God, then…” (come down from the cross).

As with other familiar Bible passages, I try to find something new. Here what strikes me is the phrase, “but on every word.” Without serious study, it’s safe to assume Satan, by his nature, picks and chooses Bible truths to contrive his purposes. What he says rings true, but it defies an overarching or foundational truth. That’s why Jesus says we need to live on every word that proceeds from God’s mouth, not just a convenient few.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

A perfect example is quoting Romans 8:28. Some will offer these comforting words, “You know, all things work together for good.” This leaves out the key point that precedes this familiar bromide, that God causes all things to work together for good. And the verse goes on to qualify the statement further.

The lesson is to know the word. No one did this as well as Jesus–of course–and he was victorious in his bout with Satan, and we can be too.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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