But there are two more devilish temptations in this story. Beyond bread, the devil offers Jesus authority over the kingdoms of the world and safety from free-fall. In these, as in the first temptation, Jesus responded with words from Scripture. In the matter of bread, the tempted tells the tempter: "One does not live by bread alone." In uttering this rebuke, Jesus recalls the passage in Deuteronomy 8:3, in which Israel's wilderness wandering is cited: "He (God) humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna ... in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
Today, many people have little bread while some have more than enough. Sharing bread with the world is an appropriate form of stewardship for believers. So is hearing and sharing the word of God. The move is from temptation to stewardship, for one does not live on bread alone.
God of all compassion, give us generous hearts so that those in poverty may have adequate food. And give us voice to share your Word, so that the world may have not only bread but also the Word of life. Amen.
Luke 4:1-3 (NRSV)
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.
3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread."