Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights. Can you even attempt to imagine how hungry he must have been? Satan tempted him to command stones to become bread so that he could satisfy his hunger (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus could have easily done so. I also believe it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Jesus wanted to turn the stones to bread just as Satan suggested, since if he did not want to do it, there would have been no temptation.
But he didn’t do it. His reasoning? He quoted Deuteronomy where it says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Had Jesus turned the stones to bread, he would have been living by the words of Satan, rather than those of his father. The morality of the act of making stones into bread did not enter the picture. The morality of whom Jesus would have heeded in so doing, did.
Jesus’ apostle, Paul, was being followed about by a young maid who was possessed with a spirit of divination while he was in Philippi. She would cry out, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who show unto us the way of salvation”. Her words could not have been more perfectly accurate. Yet, Paul was grieved over this, and commanded the spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus. It did, and her announcements ceased (Acts 16:16-18).
What’s up with Paul? Did he not recognize the value of the free advertising this young lady was providing? Perhaps he, like his Lord, wanted nothing to do with the influence of any spirit other than the Spirit of God.
Nike’s use of a controversial football player in perhaps an even more controversial ad has resulted so far at the writing of this article (September 2018) in a great deal of negative backlash as well as loss of revenue. Regardless of how you feel about Nike, the football player, or the controversy, it is obvious that those with whom we connect ourselves have an impact on how we are seen by others.
Jesus refused to be influenced by Satan, even in a seemingly harmless act. Paul, following his Lord’s example, would not permit God’s work to be promoted by one disassociated with God. We should learn a lesson from all of this, that our associations mark us for who we are.
Indeed, evil companions corrupt good morals (1st Corinthians 15:33).