Jesus' bread

Where do you look for satisfaction?

Many of us search for it in the world, yet wonder why we don't find it in God. If we are unsatisfied with God, the problem is never with Him, but with us.

I'm studying Matthew 4, getting ready for Sunday's message. In it, the Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Jesus fasts—goes without eating food in order to focus on prayer—for 40 days and nights. He's hungry when Satan comes to tempt him.

The enemy tells Jesus to turn some stones into bread if he really is the Son of God, so that he may eat. The challenge to Jesus’ authority as the Son of God attempts to evoke ungodly pride. Jesus remains humble. In facing temptation, we must learn from Jesus’ humility, remembering that the power to resist comes from God, not ourselves.

Jesus’ response in potent. Remember, Jesus has not eaten for 40 days. After 40 days, the body begins to shut down. Jesus is fully man, so he's hungry. He wants to eat. He's fully God. He could easily turn the stones to bread.

Yet in the midst of his strong desire for food, for sustenance, Jesus replies, “It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God.” Jesus understands that nearness to God is enough. God satisfies fully, and though Jesus is starved, weary from the wilderness, weak from the fast, he'll not reject the care and providence of God, nor break his spiritual fast until his duel with the Tempter is finished. To resist the temptation of Satan, we must find our satisfaction in God, knowing Him to be enough.

When we are unsatisfied with God, it is a dissatisfaction of our own making. We are dissatisfied because we chose sin over God, the wrong over the right, the world over the Word, pleasure over obedience, malice over truth, comfort over faith, and after choosing these things, we wonder why we are not near enough to God to experience the satisfaction of knowing Him dearly.

Jesus understands. He has been there at the end of his human means when his own strength is failing. He was without food 40 days, yet when tempted with food, he retorts, God is enough. God satisfies in ways food can't. His Word nourishes. He is enough.

The question is not in where you’re finding your satisfaction, it’s in where you’re looking for your satisfaction.

God alone is sufficient to satisfy. When we are satisfied in Him, sin is appalling, not appealing. Draw near to God and reject the empty and temporary satisfaction of the world.

Where are you looking for satisfaction?

—Pastor Eric