And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." (Matthew 4:3)
Read Matthew 4:1-4
I suppose the stones by Jesus' feet looked a little like loaves of bread. To someone who had gone hungry for over a month, they probably really looked like bread. But they weren't. Nobody wants a mouthful of rocks.
And so the devil proposed a plan to Jesus. "Turn these stones into bread." Easy, right? Never mind the fact that God doesn't do that sort of thing -- that bread comes from a living grain which grows in earth which was only rock hundreds or thousands of years ago, before it eroded. Skip that process. Never mind all the hard work that goes into farming and baking. Skip that too. Never mind that it would be for Jesus' own personal convenience! Just do it. It's fast and easy. Meet your own needs first.
But Jesus said no -- and continued to suffer hunger. The bread He ate later, He got the hard way.
Sometimes I wonder if God was ever tempted to just wave a hand and immediately change our stony hearts into living, warm ones. How easy it would be! No trouble, no waiting, no suffering-no cross.
And that's the problem. Jesus doesn't take the easy way out. If He's going to transform our stony hearts, He's going to do it God's way, in God's time -- through His own suffering, death, and resurrection. He's going to do it even if it means He has to be worn down like rocks slowly becoming earth. He's going to do it even if He must make Himself the single grain of wheat He described to His disciples, the one that "falls into the earth and dies... (and) bears much fruit" (see John 12:24).
And that's exactly what He did. Jesus followed "every word that comes from the mouth of God" (see Matthew 4:4). Today He lives -- never to die again -- and we live, too.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for Your patience and willingness to do what's right. Give me a heart that is like Yours. Amen.
Have you ever made bread? If so, what was the process like that? Did the bread turn out well?
When are you tempted to take shortcuts? Name a specific situation.
Christ took no shortcuts to bring you salvation; He wanted it done exactly right. See how much He loves you! Write or share your response to that love.