Luke 4:4 - Living The Word
It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word of God. Luke 4:4 (KJV)
The first Adam was tested in a beautiful garden and failed, but
the Last Adam was victorious in a terrible wilderness. [Wiersbe
With Christ, as with the holy pair in Eden, appetite was the
ground of the first great temptation. Just where the ruin began, the
work of our redemption must begin. As by the indulgence of appetite
Adam fell, so by the denial of appetite Christ must overcome.
In the first temptation, Satan wanted Jesus to use His divine
powers to meet His own needs outside of the will of God. It was a
question of putting immediate needs ahead of eternal purposes. [Wiersbe
Christ was not to exercise divine power for His own benefit. He
had come to bear trial as we must do, leaving us an example of faith
and submission. Neither here nor at any subsequent time in His
earthly life did He work a miracle in His own behalf. His wonderful
works were all for the good of others. DA117-123
The tempter said to Jesus, "If you want people to follow you,
use your wonderful powers to give them material things." He was
suggesting that Jesus should bribe people into following him. Back came
Jesus' answer in a quotation of Deut 8:3. "A man," he said, "will never
find life in material things." [Barclay Commentary]
Man needs bread, but bread is not all he needs. Material
gratification of the appetites can never satisfy the deepest longings of the
human spirit. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]
Jesus did not compose his own answer for the tempter, but drew
his reply from the revelation of Scripture. [Wycliffe Bible
What Jesus did as a man, using the resources available to every
believer, we can do. The principles on which Jesus' victory was based are
principles by which you and I can live too.
"It is written." The next thing to note is that, to find
victory, Jesus went to Scripture. And He used God's Word in a particular
As a young Christian, I was told that the Bible would give me
victory over sin. Yet I was often gripped by a particular temptation.
I'd quote a verse that I thought was appropriate--but as soon as I
stopped quoting, I found I surrendered to the temptation!
Why? I was using the Bible as something like a Hindu prayer
wheel, saying words over and over by rote as though there were
something magical in the words themselves.
Jesus' use of Scripture was very different. He went back to the
Old Testament, saying in effect, "Here is a principle to live by . .
. and I will live by it." Jesus chose to act on what God's Word
revealed to be God's will.
So it always must be with the Bible. God's Word is given us to
be lived. We are to be hearers, but not only hearers. We are to do
what it says (James 1:22). It was in doing God's Word that Jesus
found His victory, and it is in doing God's Word that we shall find
ours. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus used the "sword of the
Spirit" (Eph. 6:17) to defeat the tempter, [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]