The Master Of Understatement

“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry” (Matt. 4:2, NKJV).

Sometimes I think God is the Master of understatement. After fasting for forty days, Jesus was just “hungry”? He must have been severely weakened by His prolonged lack of nourishment! The lack of embellishment in the text grabs my attention. What about some descriptive phrases like “seriously debilitated,” or “faint with hunger and exhaustion”?

I notice this often as I am both reading the Scriptures, and writing about them. Frequently, they seem to state things in the most basic way possible, with few extra adjectives or vivid words. Like, when God created this breathtaking universe, He simply “saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:25). And when Jesus endured the most heinous, agonizing death of any human, ever, the Bible just quietly states, “They crucified Him” (Luke 23:33) In describing God’s unspeakable depths of glorious agape, His Word simply affirms, “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

As someone who endeavors to be a wordsmith, I have wondered about this tendency. My heart says to Him, Daddy, out of all of us, You are able to create the most evocative descriptions. (The Bible contains the most beautiful poetry ever written!) So why do You seem to understate so much in Your Word?

Here is something I’ve come to understand Continue reading The Master Of Understatement