Friday, February 04, 2005

The Meals of Jesus: The Meal that Never Happens

We don’t have a written record of the first meal of Jesus. We can assume that Mary
nursed Him for his first meal. If you stop and think about the fact that the creator of the
universe needed a young freshly married woman to sustain him it is amazing. Every
fiber of Mary’s being was created by the child who she nursed.
The first recorded meal of Jesus is one that never happens. After being baptized by John
the Baptist, Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit. Then the Spirit leads him into the dessert to
fast for forty day and be tempted by the Devil. We find a full account of this event in
Matthew 4.1-.11 and Luke 4.1-.13, while Mark (4.12 & .13) deals with this event briefly.
At the end of the forty days of fasting Jesus must have been so hungry. So the Devil
exploits what could have been a weakness and asks “If you are the Son of God, tell these
stones to become bread.” (Mathew 4.3 & Luke 4.3). The tempter knows who Jesus is and
he wants Jesus to use His power take care of His own physical needs by altering creation
in order to show that He is the Son of God. Jesus answers the Devil “Man does not live
on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4.4,
Luke 4.4) this is a quote from Deuteronomy 8.3.
If you go back and read Deuteronomy 8.3 you will find that the full quote is a reminder
to the Israelites of how the LORD takes care of them. At first the LORD caused them to
be hungry and then fed them manna so that they would learn that man does not live by
bread alone but on every word that comes from the LORD.
What sustains us? Is it the bread of this world or the Word of the LORD? After not
eating for 40 days and nights Jesus skips his first meal. He overcomes the next two
temptations to teach us that it is the Word of the LORD that truly sustains us and not
simply food.
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