Learn From Christ
“And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'” Matthew 4:3 (NASB)
To prove that He was the Son of God by turning stones to bread was not necessary for Jesus or for Satan. Satan already knows all about Jesus Christ. Only humans are foolish enough to question the divinity of Jesus. The test here is to misuse power for purely selfish ends, in violation of the purpose of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
In his commentary on Matthew, John MacArthur writes: “The purpose of the temptation was not simply for Jesus to satisfy His physical hunger, but to suggest that His being hungry was incompatible with His being the Son of God. He was being tempted to doubt the Father’s Word, the Father’s love, and the Father’s provision. . .It was absolute trust and submission that Satan sought to shatter. To have succeeded would have put an irreparable rift in the Trinity. They would have no longer been Three in One, no longer have been of one mind and purpose. In his incalculable pride and wickedness, Satan tried to fracture the very nature of God Himself.”
Jesus replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'” (Matt.4:4). Jesus was the Word Incarnate (John 1:14), but instead of speaking a new Gospel He quoted from the Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 8:3). This proves beyond any doubt that the Old Testament is the infallible Word of God. Certainly it is the power of God, because with it Jesus defeated the greatest spiritual enemy this earth has ever known.
“Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for forty days, but He chose not to use His divine power to satisfy His natural desire for food. Food, hunger, and eating are good, but the timing was wrong. Jesus was in the wilderness to fast, not to eat. And because Jesus had given up the unlimited, independent use of His divine power in order to experience humanity fully, He wouldn’t use His power to change the stones to bread. We also may be tempted to satisfy a perfectly normal desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. . .Many desires are normal and good, but God wants you to satisfy them in the right way and at the right time. True discipleship means learning from Christ how to know the right ways and the right times” (Life Application Bible Commentary, Matthew).