Matthew’s Gospel (4:1–4) has the following account of the temptation of Christ by Satan: ‘Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” ’
This is surely the most unusual testimony to the truth of Genesis Creation that we will find anywhere in the Bible or for that matter in the whole wide world—that of Satan himself. What Satan said in effect was: ‘If you are God, create …! Create the required organic molecules, organize them into the needed complex carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, etc. with appropriate nutritional content, and impart the necessary chemical changes normally caused by cooking. Do all this instantaneously, and do it by a word of command.’
Why instantaneously? Well, suppose Christ had found a few grains of wheat somewhere, planted them in the ground and watered them while they grew. Then, several months later, He had harvested them, crushed the harvest into flour, mixed the flour with water, and baked it in an oven. This would hardly have complied with Satan’s request for a miracle. It certainly would not have been the immediate alleviation of Jesus’s hunger that was the motivation for the temptation.
Why by a word of command? And how would creating bread (whether from stones or ex nihilo) prove that Christ was God?….
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