Daily Bible Reading for Wednesday, January 24th:

What if Jesus Turned the Stone Into Bread?

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness - between 1886 and 1894 - James Tissot (1836–1902)

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness – ca. 1890 – James Tissot (1836–1902)

I’m glad he didn’t –

He would be a completely different kind of savior if he had.

Every time I read through the account of Jesus’ temptations, (Luke 4:1-12) I have to think back through the reasons Jesus did not turn the stones into bread. It seems like such a simple and harmless act – plus his fasting period was coming to an end.

Speaking of fasting …

Fasting is one of those biblical ideas taken to its extremes by the various denominations. It is a rather simple exercise intended to bring the person closer to God, but it has been exploited to the point of being meaningless to most people. That, and the lack of a New Testament requirement for it, has caused the original intent of fasting to become obscure.

Fasting is a period of sacrifice to the point of discomfort to remind us of our humanity and our need for God.

So what would be different if Jesus had turned the stone into bread?

He would have been turning away from God

If fasting is intended to be a time of drawing nearer to God, then Jesus was doing everything he could to show God he needed him. Using his ability to perform miracles for a selfish purpose voids that dependence.

We often do that when we allow worry and fear to drive our response to challenges.

He would have understood us less

Jesus came to the earth in the flesh so God would know exactly what our lives are like. He suffered physical discomforts. He was tempted to sin. He had to learn how to survive.

Turning that stone into bread is something a person could never do. Jesus would never know what human suffering is by taking advantage of such an easy solution.

When we are trying to be helpful, we often risk diminishing others’ suffering by saying we understand what they are feeling. We should be careful when we do not share a similar experience.

His humanity would have suffered from doubt

The devil tempted Jesus by saying, “If you are the Son of God…” (Luke 4:3 my emphasis.) In other words, “prove to us both that you can really do it!”

If Jesus had allowed himself to be manipulated in such a way, imagine all of the other events in his ministry that lose their impact with the introduction of a little doubt!

This is what happens to us when we respond to false criticism and irrelevant detractions. We lose our influence and our power to lead.

Jesus already commanded all the devil had to offer

When we really look closely at the temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:1-12) we see that Jesus was never tempted with anything that he did not already possess.

In a spiritual sense, the same is true with us!

When faced with temptations and challenges, remember what Jesus showed us is possible.

And be glad he didn’t turn the stone into bread…


About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

View all posts by Butch Adams

Comments are closed.