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Verse 1

Matthew 4:1 NIVThen Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit - Led up by the Spirit. Luke says Luke 4:1 that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit;” and it was by his influence, therefore, that he went into the desert to be tempted. It was not done by presumption on the part of Jesus, nor was it for a mere display of his power in resisting temptation; but it was evidently that it might be seen that his holiness was such that he could not be seduced from allegiance to God. When the first Adam was created he was subjected to the temptation of the devil, and he fell and involved the race in ruin: it was not improper that the second Adam - the Redeemer of the race - should be subjected to temptation, in order that it might be seen that there was no power that could alienate him from God; that there was a kind and a degree of holiness which no art or power could estrange from allegiance. Mark Mark 1:12 says that this occurred “immediately” after his baptism; that is, in his case, as not unfrequently happens, the great temptation followed immediately the remarkable manifestation of the divine approbation and favor. In the clearest manifestations of the divine favor to us we may not be far from most powerful temptations, and then may be the time when it is necessary to be most carefully on our guard.

Into the wilderness - See the notes at Matthew 3:1.

To be tempted - The word “tempt,” in the original, means to try, to endeavor, to attempt to do a thing; then, to try the nature of a thing, as metals by fire; then, to test moral qualities by trying them, to see how they will endure; then, to endeavor to draw people away from virtue by suggesting motives to evil. This is the meaning here, and this is now the established sense of the word in the English language.

The devil - This word originally means an adversary, or an accuser; then, any one opposed to us; then, an enemy of any kind. It is given in the Scriptures, by way of eminence, to the leader of evil angels - a being characterized as full of subtlety, envy, art, and hatred of mankind. He is known, also, by the name Satan, Job 1:6-12; Matthew 12:26; Beelzebub, Matthew 12:24; the old Serpent, Revelation 12:9; and the Prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2:2. The name is once given to women 1 Timothy 3:11; “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers;” in the original, devils.

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