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Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; & Luke 4:1-15

09.29.2010

After being baptized and posing for a group photo with the Spirit and the Father, Jesus heads out to the wilderness, to get His Man vs. Wild on.  Some notes:

  • When the text says that Jesus spent His time in the wilderness ‘being tested,’ it implies that there was more temptation than just the three final elements that are covered in more depth.  It’s possible that He experienced boredom, weariness, bunger, etc., tempting Him to deviate from the divinely appointed path.  This period culminates in the showdown with Satan and the three tests posed therein.
  • Satan’s objective here is to disqualify Jesus from His saving role by tempting Him into sin.  Remember, the only reason Jesus can take our sins is by having none of His own to die for. 
  • Again, note how the 40 days in the wilderness corresponds to Israel’s 40 years there en route to the promised land.  Matthew is again highlighting Jesus’ embodiment of the fate of Israel.

Matt 4:1 | Notice that Matt specifies that Jesus is ‘led by the Spirit’ into the wilderness.  This presents a new perspective to me on how Jesus is able to be both God and man.  He wouldn’t be much of a ‘man’ if He were omniscient.  If I remember correctly, Paul describes Jesus has having temporarily put aside the powers and rights of divinity in order to become a man.  This means that He doesn’t start life (or even His ministry) with a step-by-step gameplan for how this is going to go.  If He did, how could He display faith?  Instead, Matt paints a picture of Jesus the man who, through the Spirit, is in perfect communion with the Father, from whom He ultimately takes His cues.  He is exploring here the fulness of the relationship with God that is open to man when there is no sin to get in the way.  This is the relationship that awaits us now that Jesus has taken away our sin.

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