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Why “It is Written” Is So Powerful

In Jesus’ temptation, he combatted each temptation with “It is written.” Consider that for a minute. When He was tempted, He was hungry, as He’d not eaten in 40 days. He was likely tired, and wore out, and near the absolute physical limit his body could handle. Jesus was tested to sin in the moment when He was most weak, and His fallback was “it is written.” We find out in Hebrews 4 that He was tempted in every way and yet did not sin. I can only assume that, in each and every way, Jesus combatted each temptation with “it is written.” Why, though? What power does “it is written” have?


Consider what came after each “it is written;” Jesus combatted temptation with Scripture. Not just merely using it as a weapon, but putting his faith and trust behind what God established through Moses and the prophets. In other words, when Jesus said, “it is written,” He was saying and throwing His full support behind the fact that this meant that “God has established.” When He was hungry, he said “God has established that man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” When He was to test His Father’s faithfulness, He said “God has established that you shall not put the Lord your God to the test,” even as Satan tried to twist Scripture to tempt Him to do so.  When He was tempted by all the Power the world has to offer, Jesus said “It has been established that you shall worship the Lord and serve Him only.”  


Loved ones, do we believe in Scripture to that degree? Do we believe that what is written is what God has established? The Bible isn’t just some moral law, though it contains morals. The bible isn’t just some book of dos and don’ts, though God does speak His will. It is what He has established, and in being what God has established, it is what we should aspire to. “It is written” is so powerful because God has set forth His rules, His laws, and His ways, and our opinions don’t matter in these matters. There is power and weight behind them because what God has established, He will prove, and what He proves, He will support. But following His word requires our trust, and to trust, we have to look beyond our circumstances into His power.


Matthew 4:1-11


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.’”


Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and 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.’”


Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,


“‘You shall worship the Lord your Godand him only shall you serve.’”


Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.


Hebrews 4:1-13


Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,


“As I swore in my wrath,

‘They shall not enter my rest,’”


although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,


“They shall not enter my rest.”


Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,


“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.”


For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.


Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

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