Have you ever wondered how we know about the Temptation (Luke 4:1-13; Matt 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13) account when none of the Gospel writers were present?  For Jesus, it was a private experience.

In the Gospel accounts there are no eyewitnesses to the Temptation, excepting, of course for Jesus and Satan.  And given the thrashing that Jesus gives Satan, Satan certainly would like to forget the the whole event.

That leaves only Jesus:  Jesus purposefully tells the story of the Temptation to the disciples and it is eventually recorded in the Gospels.

The question we should ponder is “Why did Jesus want the Temptation to be written down?”

Here are some potential reasons.  Jesus wants to:

  • …set the record straight: Despite the Fall of Man at Eden, God triumphs over Satan in the end.
  • …symbolically show that all Salvation History is linked; there is only one story, and that is the Salvation of Man through God.  To show the linkage, Jesus spends 40 days in the desert, like Israel did during the Exodus.
  • …demonstrate the power over evil that relying on God can give to us.  God defeats Satan, we can not.  Only in Christ can we withstand temptations.
  • underscore the importance of knowing Scripture; in each case, Jesus uses Old Testament passages to refute Satan’s lies.
  • …demonstrate the importance of obedience to the Father and to the calling of the Holy Spirit.
  • …harden Himself against the rigors of His mission in the three years to follow.
  • …take on the suffering that all Men, as humans, face on earth.  Jesus demonstrates that He truly has experienced hunger, loneliness, fatigue and pain.

As we read scripture, we should always meditate on its meaning in prayer.  Especially when Jesus Himself has made it a point to share a private experience.