Bread and Stones
Bread is an amazing foodstuff. Bread nourishes and builds, it has almost the same texture as meat, the stuff of which we are made, in fact I can't think of any other vegetable matter that has quite as chewy a texture. Potatoes a bit overcooked in oil could possibly be close to the same texture. Of course I haven’t tasted every kind of vegetable matter but just thinking about it gives, as far as I'm concerned, a good idea of the lack of possibilities. Bread takes the cake, no doubt about it.
Stones on the other hand are totally indigestible. Not only do they not nourish but will break your teeth if you try to chew them. Stones will cause you to stumble if you try walking over them. Stones hurt you.
Now when you think about the temptation of Jesus where Satan challenges him and asks “If you are the son of God why don't you turn these stones into bread?”
Of course Jesus answers him by replying “Man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
As far as I can tell what Satan was in fact challenging Jesus to do was, turn the things that cause hurt and men to stumble, into something that will in fact nourish them. Jesus's reply indicates that it is not possible to always be nourished, man must take note of what God is saying to him about his stumbling and his need of God otherwise, if everything was for his good and always turned into a blessing, he would no longer need to look into his own heart and see his wretched condition and his need for repentance.
Now Jesus tells us that he is the Bread that comes down from heaven and that we are to eat of this bread for our nourishment, whereas we know that all through the old testament stones are used as witnesses to testify against our iniquities before God himself. We are also told that God is setting up a stone that if men run into it they will stumble over it and if it falls on a man it will crush him. In other words our iniquities will testify against us as if carved in stone, there for all time as a witness before God himself.
So how does Jesus then help us in our struggle to overcome our shortcomings?
Jesus is called the good and faithful witness and as such knows our struggles here in this life, he also knows what has been thrown as us in our weakened state and just how terrifying the struggle can be. Another thing that Jesus knows is our inner thoughts and motives.
There is no getting away from it, when we do not trust him when we ask for his help he sees and convicts us of our lack of faith. The people Jesus healed were those who put their faith in him, not those who refused to trust him.