We wouldn’t think of Jesus as being a nutritionist. However, during this time Lent we are to carefully watch what we eat. What should be our first form of food? “Every word that comes from the mouth of God.“
If you are hungry…
It seems odd that this very basic biological need was the first recorded temptation that Jesus faced in the desert after He was baptized. I suppose this would be to show the very human side of Jesus.
Recently, I was in St. Mary’s hospital and was awaiting a procedure to be performed by my surgeon. My procedure had been delayed by hours as there were more urgent cases ahead of me that afternoon. As I was in a ward room with several beds, I could not help but overhear the lecture that my surgeon was giving to another patient. As she was elderly, and likely hard of hearing, he was speaking quite loudly. Apparently, she had difficulty swallowing, but could still eat. He raised his voice to her, “I know you don’t like all foods, but you must eat! Eat what you can! I know you don’t like the TASTE of food, but if you don’t eat something, you will end up back here on a feeding tube!!” The woman’s middle-aged daughter was there to support her and encourage her and help her, and with that the elderly woman agreed to try.
I thought about this conversation I just heard. Oddly, when I hear this tone and forwardness, especially to an older person, it upsets me. However, in this case, I thought, “Doctor, you’re right. You are fighting for this woman’s life. You care, and this passion you have displayed proves it.”
I pondered on this thought, and remembered the words Jesus replied as Satan said “if you are hungry, turn these stones into bread.”
First things first…
This is where Jesus tells us our priority. Out of this battle with Satan, His replies are also orders to us. Eat God’s words first. Then eat your earthly food … with a blessing! Sometimes God’s words do not appear to be as tasty, hard to swallow to the sinner, and routine or bland to the mature convert. Quite a tricky food battle right from garden of Eden. Satan tempted us TO eat then and tempts us NOT to eat now! As that surgeon emphatically ordered the patient to eat, Jesus emphatically orders and encourages us to eat well, and eat properly, if we are to live.