“When the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son pf God, command that these stones become bread’ “ (Matthew 4:3).
What’s the most popular bread on the market in the United States? Hands down, Americans consume whole wheat more than any other type of bread. Over 60 percent of bread consumption is whole wheat/multi-grain, followed by white, Italian, French, raisin, sourdough, pita, cinnamon, oat, and rye. Over $20 billion is spent annually on the purchase of bread.
Bread is a staple food in countries around the world and is made from dough composed of flour, water, sugar, and yeast. Because it is such a common source of nourishment, bread has social, emotional, and spiritual significance beyond nutrition. Exchanging loaves of bread is a symbol of universal peace. You can see this in the word “companion,” which comes from two Latin words: com (“with”) and panis (“bread”).
When the children of Israel left Egypt and ran out of food in the wilder- ness, they complained to Moses and Aaron. God heard their cries and said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4). It was Christ who led the Hebrew people and provided food for them. Now Jesus, who 1,400 years earlier miraculously gave manna to His people, was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness to repeat the miracle for Himself.
You might have never been tempted to turn a rock into a loaf of bread, but for the One who fed Israel in the wilderness, Satan believed it would be tempting for Jesus to prove His divinity. Christ recognized the devil’s ploy and didn’t need to prove anything. God had already acknowledged Jesus as His Son.
Even in the face of extreme hunger, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Christ was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, which refers to the lesson He taught the Israelites about His care for them in the Sinai wilder- ness. It’s the first truth we should all remember: Before we face temptation, let us partake of the Bread of heaven.
O God, may I partake of Your Word every day and eat the Bread of heaven, which alone will satisfy my deepest needs.
For Further Study: Matthew 4:1–11; Deut. 8:1–4; John 6:22–35