And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
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.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone
Yesterday I spoke of how the heroes in the scriptures are meant to be role models for us. We are supposed to push our discipleship forward with the same fervor that they did. When we do, their stories become our stories. As it turns out, there is an example of exactly this in the life of the Savior.
First, let us consider the context of the passage I have quoted. Jesus had just completed fasting for forty days and forty nights. This is quite the feat, one not often repeated in the scriptures. There is does exist another account of it, though, that of Moses in Exodus 34:28. Moses had this experience while receiving the law of the Old Testament. Similarly, Jesus had his own private fast immediately preceding his ministry, in which he delivered the law of the New Testament.
So Jesus was following the same pattern as Moses. He was stepping in the footprints of those that had gone before. Then, when he was tempted by Satan, he fittingly rebuked him with the very words spoken by Moses. The passage that Jesus quotes is what we now know as Deuteronomy 8:3. And then he does it again, two more times! When Satan tempts him a second time he rebuffs it with Deuteronomy 6:16, and after the third temptation he recalls one of the ten commandments that Moses famously delivered (Exodus 20:2-5).
Jesus was living the scriptures he was quoting. They were made new in him. This wasn’t just ancient Moses’s story anymore, it was his. But he was only able to take this ownership because we was living the life of active Christianity. He was going and doing. He was in the heat of battle. He was pushing into his great calling. Just as Moses had. Just as Abraham had. Just as all the heroes of the scriptures had.
The scriptures were not written to entertain us, or to give us wise sayings. They were given as the field guide for adventure and warfare. I have never been able to relate the scriptures to myself except for when I am chasing my personal calling as well. There are words in them that echo in my life, but only when I am pushing against the storm.