Matthew 4:4 - God Word Is Spiritual Food Without Which We Will Die.

Mat.4:4: God Word Is Spiritual Food Without Which We Will Die.

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Mat 4:4 (KJV)  But he answered and said, It is written, Man 
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out 
of the mouth of God. 

Mat 4:4 (NLT)  But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 
'People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every 
word of God.' "  

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

John predicted Messiah's appearance, and preached baptism as a 
sign of repentance (3:1-12). Christ was baptized to identify Himself 
with John's righteous message (vv. 13-17). The Spirit then led Jesus 
into the wilderness, where He overcame temptation and demonstrated 
His commitment to God (4:1-11). Thus prepared, Jesus began to preach 
(vv. 12-17), called His first disciples (vv. 18-22), and demonstrated 
His God-given authority by miracles of healing (vv. 23-25). [The 
365-Day Devotional Commentary] 


The Temptation of Jesus--Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
Satan tempts Jesus in the desert  (4:1-11)

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Deut. 8:3 (KJV)  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to 
hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy 
fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by 
bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the 
Lord doth man live.  

John 6:63 (KJV)  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh 
profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and 
they are life.  

Ephes. 6:17 (KJV)  And take the helmet of salvation, and the 
sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  

Rom 12:2 (KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye 
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that 
good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

Phil 2:5 (KJV)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in 
Christ Jesus: 

Rom 10:17 (KJV)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by 
the word of God. 

Acts 20:32 (KJV)  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and 
to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to 
give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. 

2 Pet 1:4 (KJV)  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and 
precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine 
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through 

John 17:17 (KJV)  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is 

2 Cor 3:18 (KJV)  But we all, with open face beholding as in a 
glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from 
glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

"The Bible tells only two temptation stories, the temptation of 
the first man and the temptation of Christ, that is, the temptation 
which led to man's fall, and the temptation which led to Satan's 
failure. All other temptations in human history have to do with these two 
stories of temptation. Either we are tempted in Adam or we are tempted 
in Christ. Either the Adam in me is tempted--in which case I fall. 
Or the Christ in us is tempted--in which case Satan is bound to 
fall." Dietrich Bonhoeffer [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Jesus went into the wilderness to be alone. His task had come to 
him; God had spoken to him; he must think how he was to attempt the 
task which God had given him to do; he had to get things straightened 
out before he started; and he had to be alone. It may well be that 
we often go wrong simply because we never try to be alone. There 
are certain things which a man has to work out alone. There are 
times when no one else's advice is any good to him. There are times 
when a man has to stop acting and start thinking. It may be that we 
make many a mistake because we do not give ourselves a chance to be 
alone with God. [Barclay Commentary] 

Jesus' response to all three temptations was to quote the Word 
of God, showing His followers the power of Scripture in battling 
the Evil One (see Deut. 6:13; 8:3; Ps. 91:11, 12). [Nelson SB] 

Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for 40 days, but he 
chose not to use his divine power to satisfy his natural desire for 
food. Food, hunger, and eating are good, but the timing was wrong. 
Jesus was in the desert to fast, not to eat. And because Jesus had 
given up the unlimited, independent use of his divine power in order 
to experience humanity fully, he wouldn't use his power to change 
the stones to bread. We also may be tempted to satisfy a perfectly 
normal desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. If we indulge in sex 
before marriage or if we steal to get food, we are trying to satisfy 
God-given desires in wrong ways. Remember, many of your desires are normal 
and good, but God wants you to satisfy them in the right way and at 
the right time. [Life Application SB] 

Jesus quoted this verse when the devil tempted him to turn 
stones into bread (Matthew 4:4). Many people think that life is based 
on satisfying their appetites. If they can earn enough money to 
dress, eat, and play in high style, they think they are living "the 
good life." But such things do not satisfy our deepest longings. In 
the end they leave us empty and dissatisfied. Real life comes from 
total commitment to God, the one who created life itself. It requires 
discipline, sacrifice, and hard work, and that's why most people never find 
it. [Life Application SB] 

Jesus was able to resist all of the devil's temptations because 
he not only knew Scripture, but he also obeyed it. Ephes. 6:17 says 
that God's Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Knowing Bible 
verses is an important step in helping us resist the devil's attacks, 
but we must also obey the Bible. Note that Satan had memorized 
Scripture, but he failed to obey it. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us 
follow God's desires rather than the devil's. [Life Application SB] 

Medical science has shown that after 30 to 40 days of fasting, 
hunger, which disappears the second or third day, returns. All the 
body's stored resources have been used, and the return of hunger is a 
sign that the body must have food again. 
Jesus had fasted 40 days and "was hungry" when Satan approached 
our LORD and challenged Him to turn stones into bread. After all, as 
Satan suggested, that would be a minor miracle for the Son of God to 
Jesus answered by quoting a passage in Deuteronomy: "Man does 
not live on bread alone." Perhaps the most important word here is 
Think about it. Jesus did not respond to temptation by calling 
on His resources as Son of God, but instead met each one as "man." 
If Christ had met temptation by drawing on His deity, there would 
be no help for us in His example. But since Jesus met temptation as 
a man, using no more resources than are available to any human 
being, you and I have hope! We too can overcome our temptations. We can 
follow Jesus' example, draw on the resources He used, and triumph! 
This first temptation was directed against Jesus' physical 
nature. He was hungry. He wanted bread. Why not make bread? Christ 
quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, which calls on man to live by the Word of God. 
The point of Christ's response is this: human beings are 
physical creatures. But we are more than animals. We have a spiritual 
nature that is to control the physical. God's will, not our physical 
needs or desires, is to govern our choices. 
Today many people argue that if you want something, take it. If 
you feel an urge for sex, satisfy it. After all, it's "natural." 
Yes, it's natural for animals to satisfy their desires. But because 
we are more than animals, it is not "natural" for man to be driven 
by physical hungers. We are spiritual beings, and what is right and 
natural for us is to be driven by the living Word of our God. [The 
365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

A young ensign had nearly completed his first tour of sea duty 
when he was given an opportunity to display his ability at getting 
the ship under way. With a stream of crisp commands, he had the 
decks buzzing with men and soon, the ship had left port and was 
steaming out of the channel. 
The ensign's efficiency was remarkable. In fact, the deck was 
abuzz with talk that he had set a new record for getting a destroyer 
under way. The ensign glowed at his accomplishment and was not all 
that surprised when another seaman approached him with a message from 
the captain. He was, however, a bit surprised to find that it was a 
radio message, and he was even more surprised when he read, "My 
personal congratulations upon completing your underway preparation 
exercise according to the book and with amazing speed. In your haste, 
however, you have overlooked one of the unwritten rules--make sure the 
captain is aboard before getting under way." 
God's Manual for Life, the Bible, is our manual for getting our 
lives under way. However, we must never become so bound to the book 
that we forget the Author of it and the relationship He desires to 
have with us on the voyage. [God's Little Devotional Bible] 

Leonard E. LeSourd has written about his late wife, Catherine 
Marshall, the author of Christy: "Bibles were scattered throughout our 
house...all editions, plus reference books and concordances. We often went 
to bed, turned out the light, and listened to a chapter of 
scripture on tape. If she could have found a way to spread Bible passages 
on a slice of bread, Catherine would have devoured it 
"When upset or under spiritual assault or in physical pain, 
Catherine would go to her office, kneel by her chair, and open her 
Bible.... She would read, then pray, then read, then pray some more. She 
liked to pray with the Bible clutched in her hands.... She would rest 
her case on its promises. Catherine didn't read the Bible for solace 
or inspiration, but to have an encounter with the Lord.... I think 
these were the most intense moments of her life.... Catherine's 
passion for the Word permeated her whole life. It under-girded her 
writing. It formed a base for us as a married team in the making of 
family decisions. It provided substance to her counseling of people 
through the mail. I'm convinced it was also the basis for her inner 
vitality, her charisma, and the mantle of authority she wore with some 
reluctance." The Bible is a living, breathing book. Let God speak to you 
through its pages. Let it transform your thinking and your way of life. 
Like Catherine Marshall, don't just read your Bible, have an 
encounter with the Living God. [God's Little Devotional Bible] 

I memorized the Bible verse. I quoted it to myself over and over 
again. I thought it surely would give me victory over the particular 
temptation that had me so defeated. But quote as much as I would, no 
victory came. I was just as vulnerable with my Bible verse as without 
I suspect many of us have had this experience. We see Jesus 
recalling verses from the Old Testament and quoting them to Satan. Jesus 
was victorious. Why aren't we when we do the same thing? 
The answer lies in the distinction between magic and faith. 
Magic is using an object or chant in a desperate attempt to ward off 
evil or control circumstances. Faith is a quiet confidence that what 
God says is true enough to act on. I had been using my Bible verse 
as a magic talisman, waving it desperately to repel temptation. But 
when we look at Matthew 4, we see that Jesus used Scripture in quite 
another way. He went into the Word, found a principle or truth, and said 
in effect, "I will now live by this truth." 
Jesus saw the Word of God as truth, and determined to act on 
that truth. It was this exercise of faith that gave Him victory over 
His temptations. And it is just such an exercise of faith that will 
give us victory when we are tempted today. 
Yes, let's look for the key to our victory in the Word of God. 
But let's not use the Bible in a pagan, magical way. Let's take God 
at His Word, act on what He says, and let God use our faith to give 
us the victory in Him. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

It is faith that brings victory over the world (1 John 5:4), and 
faith is developed through a study of the Scriptures (Rom. 10:17). 
[SDA Commentary] 

As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life 
is sustained by the word of God.... We should carefully study the 
Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may 
understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on 
the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse 
for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, 
and we know "what saith the Lord."... The word of God, received into 
the soul, moulds the thoughts, and enters into the development of 
character.... The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new 
life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a 
Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is 
reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place 
of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is 
what it means to live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth 
of God." This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven.  

Find victory by following Christ's example and living the Word 
of God. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]