Each month, Dongshin church has communion on the first Sunday and we look forward to breaking bread with you. Apologies for the lateness and we will have the April Communion message available soon.
Sermon by Ken Maxwell who also runs Kyungpook University Church
Gracious heavenly Father, we humbly bow before thee. Humanity communicating with divinity; yet we come in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son. In His name you have given us access to a holy place, the throne of grace; where we can obtain mercy and find grace (Heb. 4:16) in a time of need. Father open our minds, eyes, ears, and hearts; that we may know, see, hear, and retain what the spirits desires us to know this day in Jesus’ name we pray (Amen).
Through our scripture text the Apostle Matthew (once Levi, the tax collector) writes of the teachings of Jesus as inspired by God. It is simple for the believer and immensely profound for the theologian and expositor. Many have heard, but the important question is: are we doing or are we following the example? It is likely that this book was written earlier than A.D. 70. It is clear that the epistle is written to the church (Jewish converts) and objective church (converts). Our text today is a message of seeing, using and relying on that which is better than bread; an important principle.
Vs. 4: As we see in our earlier illustration that man may not be satisfied with the bread he receives, or even throughout scripture it its lack or abundance man was not made to live by bread alone. The word bread in our scripture text today, in the Greek language is (Ar’-tos/ a[rtoß]); mean that which is made of flour and normally mixed with water and baked. This bread was even consecrated to God and eaten during the feast, such as the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exo. 12:15-18). This meaning in biblical usage has also been extended to mean anything eaten. Before the sin in the garden, all that man needed to live was given; that is first his relationship to God, then the garden. Yet after the sin, came spiritual death and an ensuing or eventual physical death. From this time is was said that “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Gen. 3:19). We saw after the great exodus miracle of God; that the people began to complain about a lack of bread, and after that it was something else. We see in the story of the in Kings (I Kin. 17:9-24), there was little to make in the house of the woman at Zarepheth, but she followed the instructions of the Prophet Elijah, and made him a cake first of that little first, and then made for her and son. The little was so little that she planned to use to sticks with that meal and cruse of oil then lay and die (the woman and her son). Yet she had faith to listen to the prophet and she not only ate for many days, but her son’s life was restored. In the bible the word bread was often used as a parallel to the Word, because of its parallel use; that is to live. In the Isaiah (Isa. 55:10-11, KJV) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and make it bring forth bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that that goeth forth from my mouth, it shall not return unto me void; it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Let us read Isaiah 55:1-3, together. We also find that King David described the word as to having taste in Psalm 119:1103 (KJV): “How sweet are thy words to my taste! Yea sweeter than honey to my mouth!” We realize that bread is important, it is at the lowest level or basic level of man’s need according to Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs). In I Pet. 2:2, we are encouraged to desire the sincere milk of the word as babes. Yet let us not allow bread to be our ambition or even our weakness; leading to the undoing of our lives. If we would read in our bibles, the story in I Kin.13:1-32, we would see a story about a man of God, whose stomach and disobedience cost him very life. In our text (Mat.4:4) we see not only the example of Jesus, the Son of God, being subject to temptation, but also using that which is better than bread to win and be victorious. In the verse below, Satan misuses a scripture (Psa. 91:11-12), again trying to temp Jesus. Yet Jesus again, uses that which is better than bread, but liken unto the life give power of bread, to subdue the tricks of the enemy. Bread is important, but man can’t live by it alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. So as we trust and work for bread, let us retain that which is better; that is the Word of God.