World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
4. Temptation of Jesus
1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he afterward hungered. 3And the tempter came and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5Then the devil taketh him into the holy city; and he set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and saith unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written,
He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:
On their hands they shall bear thee up,
Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7Jesus said unto him, Again it is written, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God. 8Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11Then the devil leaveth him; and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
12Now when he heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee; 13and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: 14that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
15The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
Toward the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
16The people that sat in darkness
Saw a great light,
And to them that sat in the region and shadow of death,
To them did light spring up.
17From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
18And walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. 19And he saith unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left the nets, and followed him. 21And going on from thence he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22And they straightway left the boat and their father, and followed him.
23And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people. 24And the report of him went forth into all Syria: and they brought unto him all that were sick, holden with divers diseases and torments, possessed with demons, and epileptic, and palsied; and he healed them. 25And there followed him great multitudes from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judaea and from beyond the Jordan.
1. Then—an indefinite note of sequence. But Mark's word (Mr 1:12) fixes what we should have presumed was meant, that it was "immediately" after His baptism; and with this agrees the statement of Luke (Lu 4:1).
was Jesus led up—that is, from the low Jordan valley to some more elevated spot.
of the Spirit—that blessed Spirit immediately before spoken of as descending upon Him at His baptism, and abiding upon Him. Luke, connecting these two scenes, as if the one were but the sequel of the other, says, "Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led," &c. Mark's expression has a startling sharpness about it—"Immediately the Spirit driveth Him" (Mr 1:12), "putteth," or "hurrieth Him forth," or "impelleth Him." (See the same word in Mr 1:43; 5:40; Mt 9:25; 13:52; Joh 10:4). The thought thus strongly expressed is the mighty constraining impulse of the Spirit under which He went; while Matthew's more gentle expression, "was led up," intimates how purely voluntary on His own part this action was.
into the wilderness—probably the wild Judean desert. The particular spot which tradition has fixed upon has hence got the name of Quarantana or Quarantaria, from the forty days—"an almost perpendicular wall of rock twelve or fifteen hundred feet above the plain" [Robinson, Palestine]. The supposition of those who incline to place the temptation amongst the mountains of Moab is, we think, very improbable.
to be tempted—The Greek word (peirazein) means simply to try or make proof of; and when ascribed to God in His dealings with men, it means, and can mean no more than this. Thus, Ge 22:1, "It came to pass that God did tempt Abraham," or put his faith to a severe proof. (See De 8:2). But for the most part in Scripture the word is used in a bad sense, and means to entice, solicit, or provoke to sin. Hence the name here given to the wicked one—"the tempter" (Mt 4:3). Accordingly "to be tempted" here is to be understood both ways. The Spirit conducted Him into the wilderness simply to have His faith tried; but as the agent in this trial was to be the wicked one, whose whole object would be to seduce Him from His allegiance to God, it was a temptation in the bad sense of the term. The unworthy inference which some would draw from this is energetically repelled by an apostle (Jas 1:13-17).
of the devil—The word signifies a slanderer—one who casts imputations upon another. Hence that other name given him (Re 12:10), "The accuser of the brethren, who accuseth them before our God day and night." Mark (Mr 1:13) says, "He was forty days tempted of Satan," a word signifying an adversary, one who lies in wait for, or sets himself in opposition to another. These and other names of the same fallen spirit point to different features in his character or operations. What was the high design of this? First, as we judge, to give our Lord a taste of what lay before Him in the work He had undertaken; next, to make trial of the glorious equipment for it which He had just received; further, to give Him encouragement, by the victory now to be won, to go forward spoiling principalities and powers, until at length He should make a show of them openly, triumphing over them in His cross: that the tempter, too, might get a taste, at the very outset, of the new kind of material in man which he would find he had here to deal with; finally, that He might acquire experimental ability "to succor them that are tempted" (Heb 2:18). The temptation evidently embraced two stages: the one continuing throughout the forty days' fast; the other, at the conclusion of that period.