March 7, 2022

Luke 4:3, 4 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

One of the interesting things about this temptation is that, at another time, Jesus is recorded as having produced a lot of bread. In Luke 9:10-17 there is a story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Where did all that bread come from? I guess this isn’t breaking news, but sometimes it is not the action alone that makes something right or wrong, good or bad, but the attitude or motivation behind it. In the above passage he may have been tempted to satisfy his own hunger in a non-traditional way. But perhaps he was tempted to prove his status as Son of God by changing a stone into bread. Prove it to whom? To the devil? Maybe. But maybe the temptation was to prove it to himself, to not trust his inner connection to God but to rely on outward confirmation. We can easily dismiss this temptation if we only think of the action involved. How many of us will ever consider turning a stone into bread? But if we think in terms of our attitudes and motivations, of whom we truly trust, of what assurance we require or demand…. Well, that could be a Lenten journey.

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