Friday, March 3, 2017

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the First Sunday in Lent

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He answered, “It is written,
‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Mt 4:1–4)
The testimony was taken from Deuteronomy. The Lord responded in this way, for it was His purpose to overcome the devil with humility and not with power. At the same time, it should be noted that unless the Lord had begun to fast, the devil would not have had an occasion, in accordance with the passage: “My son, as you embark upon the service of God, prepare your soul for temptation.” [Sirach 2:1] But the Savior’s very response indicates that it was as man that He was tempted: “Not by bread alone shall man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” So if anyone does not feed upon God’s Word, that one will not live.

Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 1.4.4

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