At church this morning, the pastor in his sermon said that Jesus not once thought about himself. Rather, my pastor said, Jesus served others. The pastor referred to Jesus healing the sick, and also Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding to spare the wedding couple any embarrassment. The pastor also mentioned Jesus' refusal at his temptation to turn stones into bread as an example of Jesus choosing not to think about himself.
I have to admit
that I've not extensively studied Jesus' refusal in Matthew 4 and Luke 4
to turn the stones into bread. To be honest, I don't know what the big
deal would have been had he turned the stones into bread!
I've read explanations: Jesus would have been wrong to have turned
stones into bread in violation of his Father's will, Jesus was supposed
to depend on God, etc. But why would it have been against the Father's
will for Jesus to turn stones into bread? The Father had no problem
with Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes!
Was it a matter of
selfishness, as my pastor suggested this morning? I have a problem
with that. Is self-interest always wrong? If Jesus could acceptably
multiply loaves and fishes to feed others when they were hungry, why was
it wrong for him to turn stones into bread to feed himself when he was
hungry? Isn't it appropriate for people to meet the needs of the
hungry, whomever they may be, even if the hungry are they themselves?
Perhaps one could say that Jesus simply shouldn't have obeyed Satan
because, well, it was Satan who was commanding him to do something, and
we should never do what Satan says! I'd like a better answer than that,
for I prefer to believe that right is right and wrong is wrong,
regardless of who says it. What I mean is that something is wrong not
because Satan commands it, but Satan commands it because it is wrong.
Granted, Satan probably was telling Jesus to do something wrong
when he suggested that Jesus turn the stones into bread, but my
question is why Jesus turning stones into bread would have been wrong in
the first place. Perhaps some of the considerations that I just
mentioned are incomplete parts of the answer, if there's an answer out
there that is more satisfying.
See my post from a while back about Jesus' temptation: here.