Turn to the Scriptures
For the first readers of the book of Hebrews, the metaphor in this verse would have drawn to mind the gladius, the Roman short sword. These swords had y-shaped tips that looked almost like steel tongues. It is to this that the writer to the Hebrews compares the word of God. In Revelation, too, Jesus refers to His authoritative word as the “sword of my mouth” (Revelation 2:16). Whether pricking the conscience, cutting away our camouflages, piercing through Satan’s lies, or offering us encouragement, the sword of God’s word is sharp enough for all our needs.
Jesus understood the sufficiency of Scripture in every situation and modeled for us a complete dependence upon it. In the face of temptation, He turned to the Bible to answer the Evil One, warding off his attacks (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-12). After His resurrection, in order to revitalize the despondent duo on the road to Emmaus, He turned them to God’s word and “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (24:27). Why did He not simply show them His nail-pierced hands? Because He knew that while the opportunity to see His wounds would be limited to a moment and a few observers, there would be many generations who followed them who could not walk along the road with Him—but they would still have the Scriptures and would be able to read them to see “the things concerning himself.” The unerring truth of God’s word would be sufficient for God’s people in all times and in all places.
We live in an environment in which long-held convictions have been shaken. Confidence in Scripture has significantly eroded. Few truly trust in its authority and its sufficiency to accomplish the purposes for which God has ordained it. It may not become fully apparent in one generation, but as time passes the declension, the rot, the misgivings, the disinterest, and the wrongful preoccupations will yield bitter fruit.
Beware anything that encourages you to waver on your convictions concerning the singular authority and absolute sufficiency of Scripture. Beware moments when your own heart seeks to blunt God’s word, either by not reading it or not applying it. Instead, open your Bible and ask the Spirit of God to go to work with His sword, piercing your thoughts and intentions, showing you Jesus, and reminding you time and time again of His love and of the power of His word.
The Temptation of Jesus
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”
11Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
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