Matthew 4:4 Demonstrates the Power of God made available to you.
In Matthew 3, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. The Baptism identifies Jesus as King and Savior before Israel, as the Father and Spirit appear at the Baptism of Christ. In Chapter 4 of Matthew, Jesus continues in the ministry that began in Matthew 3 by demonstrating himself as the Saving King. He identifies himself as the sufficient sacrifice for sin by overcoming the temptation in the wilderness for 40 days. In the wilderness Jesus encounters Satan, the one who leads the kingdom of darkness. Jesus proves that He is the perfect and sinless lamb who will die for his people as their Saving King. It is crucial to understand that Jesus is the sufficient sacrifice. In addition, the way Jesus triumphs over this temptation is also a key lesson to all of us. The Bible tells us that Satan tempts Jesus three times in Matthew 4. He tempts Jesus with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The temptation he gave to Jesus is relatable to the temptation of Adam and Eve. In the wilderness temptation, we discover that three times Jesus does something in response to Satan’s Temptation. What does he do? He quotes Truth. When Adam and Even sinned, what did they do? They perverted the truth (“Genesis 3:3-4). When Jesus overcame temptation, he overcame by identifying himself in God’s Word. Jesus’ authority and power to overcome temptation was found in quoting from the book of Deuteronomy (Matthew 4:4,7,10). In Matthew 4:4, he is specifically quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3.
Matthew 4:4 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.’”
What important point can we take from Matthew 4:4? There are several but I just want to share two.
#1 By quoting from the Old Testament, Jesus is validating the Author of the Old Testament. Jesus says in this passage that the words He is choosing to live by are God’s words. This means Jesus is not looking at the Old Testament as words of men written about God. Jesus views the Old Testament as the very Words of God. Today we have manuscripts of the Old Testament that are older than Jesus himself (Dead Sea Scrolls). This means we can go back and read the very same biblical words that Jesus would have read. The Old Testament is God’s Word, and it is still available to you today.
#2 The second point centers upon the Authority of God’s Word. Naturally the Author of a writing also presents the authority of a writing. Notice in this passage that it is God’s Word that defeats Satan’s temptation. God’s word has power. God’s word gives us direction. God’s word is the weapon against darkness. In fact the Bible shares this with us in numerous passages.
o the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two–edged sword (Heb 4:12)
o Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105)
o The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)
If God’s word is the tool to live for the Kingdom of light and overcome the Kingdom of darkness, we should focus on its importance in our life. Read it, Cherish it, Train with it, Use it. Focus on it when you wake up and when you go to bed. Don’t under estimate the power of God. You can literally hold it in your hand, imbed it in your heart and live it with your life. If it is the tool of Jesus, it should be the tool for his people.