Tempted in the Wilderness

“The immediate duress of the desert events of Matthew 4:1–11 sets the tone for subsequent course of Jesus’ entire ministry. The testing of his messianic faithfulness that culminates in his death and resurrection secures eschatalogical deliverance from sin and its consequences.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., in Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views, p. 108).

“Jesus Christ, however, knew the word and, by obeying it, established himself as God’s true last Adam and true Israel. Recall, in Matt. 4:1–11, when the devil sought to tempt Jesus. With each temptation Jesus responded to Satan by quoting from the OT, from passages in Deuteronomy where Moses rebuked Israel for failing in its task. In contrast to Adam and Eve, Jesus overcame the temptations by knowing and trusting in God’s word.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 222).

“In the wilderness temptation, we may say that it was actually Jesus who confronted Satan, rather than the other way around. From the devil’s perspective, he wanted to prevent Christ from depending upon the Holy Spirit, and thus cause him to fail to maintain an attitude of service in his state of humiliation. Jesus’ desire for his messianic glory to be revealed – Jesus as the Son of God – could only be attained through suffering. (Mark Jones, Knowing Christ, p. 111).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

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