The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:3-4
“… tell these stones to become …“
The Greek word translated “become” is gínomai and means “to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another … Fundamentally it “means become (becoming, became) so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb ‘to be’ (is, was, will be).”1 Marvin R. Vincent adds that the word “is used for God’s actions as emerging from eternity and becoming (showing themselves) in time (physical space).”2
Make bread emerge from eternity, transition from one realm to another. Who can do that but God? It sounds to me like Satan knew who Jesus was and Jesus’ power. Jesus is the unchanging “to be” verb, the I AM. He has the power to make us – me and you – the becoming verb, emerging, transitioning. The power to manifest God’s actions emerging from eternity and showing themselves in time and space.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ … Ephesians 1:4-5
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Back to the desert and the temptation to make bread from stones. Jesus refused Satan’s temptation, but I think he did it with an inward smile. Because, you know what the cool thing is? I think Jesus did make stones become bread. But first he made the stones – living stones. The Father’s plan all along.
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5
Bread is a consumable. (Jesus said to “eat this bread”). Bread is consumed and becomes nourishment, strength. I might be stepping out on some thin air here, but if Jesus is the living Stone and the living Bread come from heaven, and the church is the body of Christ, built from living stones, could we also be stones becoming bread? It makes sense to me that we become bread. Not hard, dead stones to beat people over the head with, but living stones to build a refuge for the oppressed, a sanctuary for the harassed and helpless, living stones becoming bread to feed the hungry.
You feed them. Luke 9:13 (NLT)
Jesus is Bread and we are to be like him. Bread to be consumed. Living sacrifices.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1-2
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29
Conformed to – sýmmorphos – “properly, conformed, by sharing the same inner essence–identity (form); showing similar behavior from having the same essential nature.”1
Having “the same essential nature.” Bread. Life giving bread.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51
Jesus spoke another time about bread.
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33
I always have wondered about this verse. Yeast is almost always a symbol of sin in the Bible. But here Jesus is saying the Kingdom is like yeast mixed into flour to make bread – a good, life-giving thing. The word translated “mixed” means to conceal in, incorporate with, bury or hide within. This may be another highwire act, but look at this:
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
What if our sinful nature – our yeast – crucified with Christ, transformed and conformed and hidden in him can become bread with him. Maybe only when this happens, when we have died to self and are hidden in Him can we be conformed to him – “showing similar behavior from having the same essential nature.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:16
I think giving them something to eat is done both literally, by caring for the physical needs of our brothers, and by sharing the Bread of the Word with those who hunger for what they don’t even know they hunger for.
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? James 2:15-16
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat … Matthew 25:35
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. John 5:6
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience … 1 Peter 3:15-16
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63
Feed my sheep. John 21:17
For more on this topic see: If You Are and Living Stones
1 HELPS Word Studies, Bible Hub
2Word Studies in the New Testament by Marvin R. Vincent
Image, by Mira66 https://www.flickr.com/photos/21804434@N02/4739074036/