Following the baptism of Jesus, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when the 40 days were ended, the. Bible tells us that Jesus was hungry.
Yeah… I can see how that would be the case.
Now, the Judean wilderness is a hot, barren land that is largely void of vegetation but teeming with stones. There are stones EVERYWHERE in the Judean wilderness. When you walk, you walk on stones. When you sit or lay down, you sit or lay down on stones.
After eating nothing for forty days, as His body was growing weaker and weaker, Jesus likely leaned his weak body against a large, stone wall, or sat on a stone looking out over a vast field of stones. He was hungry. And in this context, in this place, under these circumstances, the devil offered a seemingly sympathetic solution.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”Luke 4:3, ESV
He would soon enough turn water into wine. Why not, here in this moment of hunger, turn a stone into bread?
He would soon enough use a few small fish and loaves of bread to feed thousands of hungry people who had only been a few hours or a few days from their last meal. Now here was Jesus, forty days since His last meal, why not turn a single stone into bread?
The answer, I believe, is found in Jesus’ response.
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4, ESV
Based on Jesus’ response, I think it is fair to assume that God told Jesus NOT to eat. Perhaps it was through the Holy Spirit, or perhaps God the Father spoke to God the Son with a voice from heaven as He did at Jesus’ baptism (see Matthew 3:17). Either way, whether it was beforehand, in preparation for this moment, or whether it was a fresh word from the LORD that he was receiving in this very moment, the word that came from the mouth of God to Jesus must have been for Him to NOT do what the devil was suggesting.
Adam and Eve were faced with a similar situation in the Garden of Eden. The word from the mouth of God in that situation was crystal clear. “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.”
When the serpent drew their attention to the forbidden fruit, the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise. So she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (see Genesis 3:6)
So what is wrong with eating fruit that is good for food, is a delight to the eyes, and is desired to make one wise?
If God said not to, then it doesn’t matter how good it looks!
We tend to be so wise in our own eyes! We think we know what is best, but we don’t.
God always knows what is best. He is always true, and His word is always true.
Like Jesus, we cannot be led by our feelings. He felt hungry, but that hunger did not lead Him AWAY from God’s word, it led Him into further obedience TO God’s word!
Like Jesus, we too need to be led by the Holy Spirit and the word of God.