Jesus’ baptism concluded with “a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Immediately following this, and just before the start of his healing mission, Jesus went into the wilderness for an extended period of time. There, Satan tempted him three times to exalt matter above Spirit (see Matthew 4:1–11). In each case, Jesus demonstrated his God-given dominion; and his spiritual victories teach us valuable lessons in the healing practice of divine Science.
This first temptation came to Jesus after he hadn’t eaten for many days. It’s likely that Jesus had the power to effect the change being suggested because later he would change water into wine and demonstrate God’s abundance for a multitude when only five loaves and two fish were at hand. But instead of yielding to this first temptation, Jesus responded by citing Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (derived from Deuteronomy 8:3).
Jesus shunned what the carnal mind or sense-based reasoning presented as the convenient, practical, material solution. Rather, he chose to put all his loyalty, trust, and faith in his heavenly Father. He understood and relied on the fundamental, eternal truth that life does not depend on matter—that man is not material but spiritual, and that all man’s needs are supplied by Spirit. He rejected the belief that Spirit could not sustain him.