Matthew 4:1-12; Testing

I see lots of echoes and shadows of the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites after the Exodus. Typical Matthew.

I guess if you are writing a commentary, you have to discuss all the fine points of each temptation and each answer Jesus gives. But I see it as a pretty simple situation.

Jesus is tempted to take another way than the Father’s way. Just as I am tempted to take an easier or different way. This constitutes for Jesus a test. He passes the test. He will go the Father’s way. This temptation, this test, may recur, but for now he has set himself on the difficult road.

The answers Jesus gives don’t strike one as particularly clever. He simply says “no” to the temptations. He passes the test.

When I have been in group discussions about this passage and its parallels, the question always comes up: “Could Jesus have really given in to temptation?” I say yes. If it is impossible to fail the test, it isn’t really a test.

When the time of testing was over, Jesus enjoyed the hospitality of angels. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

John was arrested. Jesus went back to the relative safety of Galilee. We can breathe a bit.

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