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The following took place in Matthew 4: 1-4

“If you are the son of God”: just before that, the holy spirit had descended on him and God had said ‘you are my son…’ So Jesus didn’t have to do anything to prove his sonship. We walk by faith…

“Turn these stones into bread”: Jesus was hungry. It is not a sin to be hungry, neither is it a sin to eat. It was the manner in which he was to satisfy his hunger that was to be questioned. Jesus turned water to wine and multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish, so what was the big deal about converting stones to bread? First, it would have been an inappropriate use of God’s power on his life. He realised that the power of God on his life was not meant for meeting his personal or selfish needs. He knew the purpose for which power was given to him and he was not going to abuse it. Food could be gotten by other means.

“Man shall not live by bread alone”: Jesus was quoting a scripture here. This shows that he meditated and not only read God’s word. The point he was trying to make is this: while we are all entitled to our share of hunger, the manner in which we satisfy that hunger says a whole lot. We should trust in God to help us satisfy whatever the hunger is. Another point worthy of note is Delayed Gratification. It is not immediately you feel hunger pangs that you start eating. Various factors must be considered. Probably God had told Jesus that angels were bringing food for him as we see at the end of the temptation.

Summing it up, we all experience hunger in different aspects of our lives. Emotional hunger, knowledge hunger, spiritual hunger, physical hunger, material hunger etc. These by themselves are not wrong. It is the way we satisfy them that makes the difference. Let’s look at some areas e.g. the area of sex. ‘if you are man enough or if you are not gay, then prove it by having sex’, ‘if you love me, then you must make love to me’’… these scenarios and many more abound in our societies. Just as we do not have to satisfy our hunger in order to prove that we can eat, we also do not need to satisfy sexual (and other) desires to prove our capabilities especially if it contradicts what we know to be true.

Our unique talents and blessings are not to satisfy ourselves (alone). They are meant primarily to make the lives of others better. If you fail to realize this in whatever field you are then you have missed the whole point. In satisfying our desires, we should always seek how we can be of benefit to others, not just ourselves.

We should realise that God put the hunger there and he will provide the appropriate satisfaction, albeit in his own time. This is where the issue of timing comes in. (I must confess, I cannot say I have sufficient grasp on the concept of God’s timing but I know it is important nevertheless). The concept of delayed gratification is also of importance in aligning ourselves with God’s time when it comes to satisfying hunger. It simply means acknowledging the fact that it isn’t yet time to ‘eat’(or that it isn’t important to eat at that time or that the current means to satisfy our ‘hunger’ is iniquitous) and deciding to hold out till ‘all is set’.

Ifeoluwapo Odedere

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