a Father to be pleased. If Moses and Daniel had known what it was to go without food, if Israel's armies had lived on the shortest of commons for forty years, could not the Son of God put up with a little deprivation, if His duty called for it?
'Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God'. It was His adversary who was starving, not Himself! It was Satan whose soul had died from lack of food for all his splendid appearance. So might one admire the magnificent appearance of Caesar's latest charioteer or favourite gladiator, only to discover in conversation the filth of a sewer and the poverty of an illiterate. While Satan spoke of bread Jesus thought of rivers of sparkling water which should flow from the belly of His friends; while Satan mocked at obscurity Jesus was thinking of the day when He should be the cynosure of every eye, the terror of His enemies. So did the Scriptures arm the Son of God against the Slanderer of God!
What a struggle it had cost the lad Jesus eighteen years ago to leave Jerusalem, the City of His Father, and go back to Nazareth, that hateful village, none will ever know. Every year His heart was stabbed afresh as the Passover came round and He entered and left that sacred Temple as any ordinary nobody, caught up in the thoughtless crowd, that saw no deeper than the outside of ritual and nationalism. Never had His Father enabled Him to remain behind in the learned Rabbi's society, never had a door opened to Him to join the select company of those who, like Simeon and Anna, gave themselves to the God of Israel and spake often of His Name. It seemed heart-breaking, incredible; He had lived in the wilderness of Nazareth with nothing but manna to eat.
But now in a flash He finds Himself upon that commanding minaret of the Temple from which He can survey the