Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, One does not live on bread alone.” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.
After four (4) days of not eating, one might get downright “Hangry” (a slang term used to describe being angry due to one’s hunger). How do you think you might feel after forty (40) days of not eating?! Let’s put it into earthly-terms. The British Medical Journal recently cited several hunger strikes that ended after 21 to 40 days. These hunger strikes ended because of the severe, life-threatening symptoms the participants were experiencing. So, Jesus’ 40 days without food would have put Him on death’s doorstep; and, the perfect opportunity for the devil to tempt Him. Jesus always leads by Example – He’s been in our shoes and He understands our pains, struggles, and tribulations. Whether it was a hunger strike (fasting) or opening the Gates of Heaven (crucifixion/resurrection) or serving others (washing the Apostle’s feet), Jesus sets the tone for all of us and promises to never give us more than we can handle. So, when we’re going through our own temptations, it’s important to remember that the devil cannot do anything more than perverse, distort, or destroy through his web of lies and deception (John 10:10). It’s all a sham from satan; God has always been and will always be in control; and, the devil has no authority over us beyond what we alone give to him. We are a Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people for His Own Possession, and God’s People (1 Peter 2:9-10). Like Jesus’ example, kick satan out of your life, home, business, Family, Church, etc. It’s through our hunger for Jesus and our thirst for the Truth that we are set free (John 8:36).
Some other things to note about this wonderful passage.
1. The original Greek implies that Jesus wasn’t just lead into the wilderness, he was “impelled” or “driven” by the Spirit into the wilderness. Why? Because He knew why He was going and this was something that would have been uncomfortable for Jesus. Similar to when Jesus was going to the cross and asked the Father “If you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not My will, but Thy will be done.” Also, the original Greek implying that Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit is the same language used when Jesus drove out demons.
2. Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted in order to more closely associate with those whom He was coming to save.
3. Jesus was tempted the entire 40 days. The wording in Mark gives additional context to that. However, it was at the end when Jesus was at His weakest point, that Satan laid it on big.
4. Because He was with the beasts in the wilderness this showed that He still ruled over the things of this earth, and with the angels ministering to Him, it showed that He was still ruling over the things of heaven, then we know that Jesus did not give into any temptation.
Strong points for sure, Steven! God’s Word is just a Wonderful, Mysterious, Dynamic, Living Source of Life for all who would endeavor to know Him and His Word! God bless!!! Gregg