Living by Every Word: Lessons from Jesus’ Encounter with Satan

Living by Every Word: Lessons from Jesus’ Encounter with Satan

Introduction of the Living Word:

It’s one thing to read words in the Bible, but it’s quite another when they become the Living Word to you. In the Gospel of Matthew, we find a profound statement made by Jesus during his encounter with Satan. The exchange found in Matthew 4:4 references a depth of wisdom often overlooked. Let’s explore this passage and unravel its layers of meaning. Let God make His Word living to you today.

Word Study of Matthew 4:4:

The verse begins with Jesus countering Satan’s temptation, stating, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4, NLT) Delving into the meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew words in this passage adds richness to our understanding of the Living Word.

  • Answered or Told: The word translated as “answered” in the King James Version and “told” in the New Living Translation implies more than a simple verbal response. In the context of Hebraism, it signifies drawing a conclusion and responding with deliberate thought.
  • Said: Simply means speaking or saying physical words. ‘Said’ is used along with ‘answered’ in the same sentence to emphasize that Jesus drew a conclusion from deliberate thought before speaking.
  • Live: The concept of living in this verse encompasses both the physical and figurative life, emphasizing a holistic existence.
  • Bread: While it refers to physical bread, it symbolizes sustenance, highlighting the inadequacy of physical provisions alone.
  • Word: Translated from the Greek “rhema,” meaning an utterance. It represents more than individual or collective words. It implies expressing thoughts about matters, or topics; emphasizing the breadth of God’s communication.
  • Mouth: Beyond a physical opening in our earthly bodies, it symbolizes the language of God. The mouth also translates as the cutting edge of a sword. A sword is a metaphor meaning; an implement used to deliver the Word of God.

Context in the Word:

On top of the Blueridge mountains with two other peaks beside us

Quoting Moses: Jesus quotes Moses in Matthew 4:4, referencing Deuteronomy 8:3. The context of this verse is like standing on the precipice of a great mountain. In chapters 1 – 7 of Deuteronomy Moses gives the Israelites a detailed account of their journey through the wilderness, emphasizing God’s guidance, commands, and the rewards for following them. Then in the 8th chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses recaps this. Finally, in verse 3, we reach the precipice of the mountain. Moses teaches us that life’s sustenance goes beyond physical needs; it’s found in adhering to every living word from God.

The Promised Land, Living Word:

Moving beyond Deuteronomy 8:3, Moses describes the Promised Land as a place of abundance, symbolizing spiritual prosperity. Jeremiah 17:7-8, Proverbs 16:22, and 1 Samuel 16:13 echo these symbols, portraying a flourishing life rooted in trust, understanding, and anointing. These symbol-filled scriptures are only a peek into the depth of study found throughout the Bible on the topic of spiritual bread from the Word of God.


The Israelites missed the opportunity to enter the promised land earlier. Their lack of faith hindered them. Similarly, Jesus’ response to Satan emphasizes the profound truth that a life truly lived is one grounded in every word from God. The promised land, both literal and symbolic, belongs to those who, with faith, trust in and follow God’s guidance. As we navigate life’s journey, may we reason thoughtfully and respond with wisdom. Let us seek this wisdom in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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