Luke 4:1
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
IV.

(1-13) Being full of the Holy Ghost.—See Notes on Matthew 4:1-11. The words used by St. Luke describe the same fact as those used by St. Matthew and St. Mark, and agree with the Spirit given “not by measure” of John 3:34

Luke

THE TEMPTATION

Luke 4:1 - Luke 4:13
.

If we adopt the Revised Version’s reading and rendering, the whole of the forty days in the desert were one long assault of Jesus by Satan, during which the consciousness of bodily needs was suspended by the intensity of spiritual conflict. Exhaustion followed this terrible tension, and the enemy chose that moment of physical weakness to bring up his strongest battalions. What a contrast these days made with the hour of the baptism! And yet both the opened heavens and the grim fight were needful parts of Christ’s preparation. As true man, He could be truly tempted; as perfect man, suggestions of evil could not arise within, but must be presented from without. He must know our temptations if He is to help us in them, and He must ‘first bind the strong man’ if He is afterwards ‘to spoil his house.’ It is useless to discuss whether the tempter appeared in visible form, or carried Jesus from place to place. The presence and voice were real, though probably if any eye had looked on, nothing would have been seen but the solitary Jesus, sitting still in the wilderness.

I. The first temptation is that of the Son of man tempted to distrust God.

Long experience had taught the tempter that his most taking baits were those which appealed to the appetites and needs of the body, and so he tries these first. The run of men are drawn to sin by some form or other of these, and the hunger of Jesus laid Him open to their power-if not on the side of delights of sense, yet on the side of wants. The tempter quotes the divine voice at the baptism with almost a sneer, as if the hungry, fainting Man before him were a strange ‘Son of God.’ The suggestion sounds innocent enough; for there would have been no necessary harm in working a miracle to feed Himself. But its evil is betrayed by the words, ‘If Thou art the Son of God,’ and the answer of our Lord, which begins emphatically with ‘man,’ puts us on the right track to understand why He repelled the insidious proposal even while He was faint with hunger. To yield to it would have been to shake off for His own sake the human conditions which He had taken for our sakes, and to seek to cease to be Son of man in acting as Son of God. He takes no notice of the title given by Satan, but falls back on His brotherhood with man, and accepts the laws under which they live as His conditions.

The quotation from Deuteronomy, which Luke gives in a less complete form than Matthew, implies, even in that incomplete form, that bread is not the only means of keeping a man in life, but that God can feed Him, as He did Israel in its desert life, with manna; or, if manna fails, by the bare exercise of His divine will. Therefore Jesus will not use His power as Son of God, because to do so would at once take Him out of His fellowship with man, and would betray His distrust of God’s power to feed Him there in the desert. How soon His confidence was vindicated Matthew tells us. As soon as the devil departed from Him, ‘angels came and ministered unto Him.’ The soft rush of their wings brought solace to His spirit, wearied with struggle, and once again ‘man did eat angels’ food.’

This first temptation teaches us much. It makes the manhood of our Lord pathetically true, as showing Him bearing the prosaic but terrible pinch of hunger, carried almost to its fatal point. It teaches us how innocent and necessary wants may be the devil’s levers to overturn our souls. It warns us against severing ourselves from our fellows by the use of distinctive powers for our own behoof. It sets forth humble reliance on God’s sustaining will as best for us, even if we are in the desert, where, according to sense, we must starve; and it magnifies the Brother’s love, who for our sakes waived the prerogatives of the Son of God, that He might be the brother of the poor and needy.

II. The second temptation is that of the Messiah, tempted to grasp His dominion by false means.

The devil finds that he must try a subtler way. Foiled on the side of the physical nature, he begins to apprehend that he has to deal with One loftier than the mass of men; and so he brings out the glittering bait, which catches the more finely organised natures. Where sense fails, ambition may succeed. There is nothing said now about ‘Son of God.’ The relation of Jesus to God is not now the point of attack, but His hoped-for relation to the world. Did Satan actually transport the body of Jesus to some eminence? Probably not. It would not have made the vision of all the kingdoms any more natural if he had. The remarkable language ‘showed . . . all . . . in a moment of time’ describes a physical impossibility, and most likely is meant to indicate some sort of diabolic phantasmagoria, flashed before Christ’s consciousness, while His eyes were fixed on the silent, sandy waste.

There is much in Scripture that seems to bear out the boast that the kingdoms are at Satan’s disposal. But he is ‘the father of lies’ as well as the ‘prince of this world,’ and we may be very sure that his authority loses nothing in his telling. If we think how many thrones have been built on violence and sustained by crime, how seldom in the world’s history the right has been uppermost, and how little of the fear of God goes to the organisation of society, even to-day, in so-called Christian countries, we shall be ready to feel that in this boast the devil told more truth than we like to believe. Note that he acknowledges that the power has been ‘given,’ and on the fact of the delegation of it rests the temptation to worship. He knew that Jesus looked forward to becoming the world’s King, and he offers easy terms of winning the dignity. Very cunning he thought himself, but he had made one mistake. He did not know what kind of kingdom Jesus wished to establish. If it had been one of the bad old pattern, like Nebuchadnezzar’s or Caesar’s, his offer would have been tempting, but it had no bearing on One who meant to reign by love, and to win love by loving to the death.

Worshipping the devil could only help to set up a devil’s kingdom. Jesus wanted nothing of the ‘glory’ which had been ‘given’ him. His answer, again taken from Deuteronomy, is His declaration that His kingdom is a kingdom of obedience, and that He will only reign as God’s representative. It defines His own position and the genius of His dominion. It would come to the tempter’s ears as the broken law, which makes his misery and turns all his ‘glory’ into ashes. This is our Lord’s decisive choice, at the outset of His public work, of the path of suffering and death. He renounces all aid from such arts and methods as have built up the kingdoms of earth, and presents Himself as the antagonist of Satan and his dominion. Henceforth it is war to the knife.

For us the lessons are plain. We have to learn what sort of kingdom Jesus sets up. We have to beware, in our own little lives, of ever seeking to accomplish good things by questionable means, of trying to carry on Christ’s work with the devil’s weapons. When churches lower the standard of Christian morality, because keeping it up would alienate wealthy or powerful men, when they wink hard at sin which pays, when they enlist envy, jealousy, emulation of the baser sort in the service of religious movements, are they not worshipping Satan? And will not their gains be such as he can give, and not such as Christ’s kingdom grows by? Let us learn, too, to adore and be thankful for the calm and fixed decisiveness with which Jesus chose from the beginning, and trod until the end, with bleeding but unreluctant feet, the path of suffering on His road to His throne.

III. The third temptation tempts the worshipping Son to tempt God.

Luke arranges the temptations partly from a consideration of locality, the desert and the mountain being near each other, and partly in order to bring out a certain sequence in them. First comes the appeal to the physical nature, then that to the finer desires of the mind; and these having been repelled, and the resolve to worship God having been spoken by Jesus, Luke’s third temptation is addressed to the devout soul, as it looks to the cunning but shallow eyes of the tempter. Matthew, on the other hand, in accordance with his point of view, puts the specially Messianic temptation last. The actual order is as undiscoverable as unimportant. In Luke’s order there is substantially but one change of place-from the solitude of the wilderness to the Temple. As we have said, the change was probably not one of the Lord’s body, but only of the scenes flashed before His mind’s eye. ‘The pinnacle of the Temple’ may have been the summit that looked down into the deep valley where the enormous stones of the lofty wall still stand, and which must have been at a dizzy height above the narrow glen on the one side and the Temple courts on the other. There is immense, suppressed rage and malignity in the recurrence of the sneer, ‘If Thou art the Son of God’ and in the use of Christ’s own weapon of defence, the quotation of Scripture.

What was wrong in the act suggested? There is no reference to the effect on the beholders, as has often been supposed; and if we are correct in supposing that the whole temptation was transacted in the desert, there could be none. But plainly the point of it was the suggestion that Jesus should, of His own accord and needlessly, put Himself in danger, expecting God to deliver Him. It looked like devout confidence; it was really ‘tempting God’. It looked like the very perfection of the trust with which, in the first round of this duel, Christ had conquered; it was really distrust, as putting God to proof whether He would keep His promises or no. It looked like the very perfection of that worship with which He had overcome in the second round of the fight; it wag really self-will in the mask of devoutness. It tempted God, because it sought to draw Him to fulfil to a man on self-chosen paths His promises to those who walk in ways which He has appointed.

We trust God when we look to Him to deliver us in perils met in meek acceptance of His will. We tempt Him when we expect Him to save us from those encountered on roads that we have picked oat for ourselves. Such presumption disguised as filial trust is the temptation besetting the higher regions of experience, to which the fumes of animal passions and the less gross but more dangerous airs from the desires of the mind do not ascend. Religious men who have conquered these have still this foe to meet. Spiritual pride, the belief that we may venture into dangers either to our natural or to our religious life, where no call of duty takes us, the thrusting ourselves, unbidden, into circumstances where nothing but a miracle can save us-these are the snares which Satan lays for souls that have broken his coarser nets. The three answers with which Jesus overcame are the mottoes by which we shall conquer. Trust God, by whose will we live. Worship God, in whose service we get all of this world that is good for us. Tempt not God, whose angels keep us in our ways, when they are His ways, and who reckons trust that is not submission to His ways to be tempting God, and not trusting Him.

‘All the temptation’ was ended. So these three made a complete whole, and the quiver of the enemy was for the time empty. He departed ‘for a season,’ or rather, until an opportunity. He was foiled when he tried to tempt by addressing desires. His next assault will be at Gethsemane and Calvary, when dread and the shrinking from pain and death will be assailed as vainly.Luke 4:1. And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, &c., was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, &c. — Supposed by some to have been in Judea; by others to have been the great desert of Horeb, or Sinai, where the children of Israel were tried for forty years, and Moses and Elijah fasted forty days. Here we see that our blessed Lord began his ministry immediately after his baptism, not by going directly to Jerusalem, the seat of power, preceded by the Baptist, and with the divine glory surrounding his head, but by retiring into a wilderness, that, without interruption, he might prepare himself for his work by fasting, meditation, and prayer, and by sustaining temptations. Hence his journey to the wilderness is said to have been undertaken by the direction, or strong impulse, of the Spirit, by which Mark says he was driven. See note on Mark 1:12-13, and especially on Matthew 4:1, where the nature and design of our Lord’s temptation are explained at large.4:1-13 Christ's being led into the wilderness gave an advantage to the tempter; for there he was alone, none were with him by whose prayers and advice he might be helped in the hour of temptation. He who knew his own strength might give Satan advantage; but we may not, who know our own weakness. Being in all things made like unto his brethren, Jesus would, like the other children of God, live in dependence upon the Divine Providence and promise. The word of God is our sword, and faith in that word is our shield. God has many ways of providing for his people, and therefore is at all times to be depended upon in the way of duty. All Satan's promises are deceitful; and if he is permitted to have any influence in disposing of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, he uses them as baits to insnare men to destruction. We should reject at once and with abhorrence, every opportunity of sinful gain or advancement, as a price offered for our souls; we should seek riches, honours, and happiness in the worship and service of God only. Christ will not worship Satan; nor, when he has the kingdoms of the world delivered to him by his Father, will he suffer any remains of the worship of the devil to continue in them. Satan also tempted Jesus to be his own murderer, by unfitting confidence in his Father's protection, such as he had no warrant for. Let not any abuse of Scripture by Satan or by men abate our esteem, or cause us to abandon its use; but let us study it still, seek to know it, and seek our defence from it in all kinds of assaults. Let this word dwell richly in us, for it is our life. Our victorious Redeemer conquered, not for himself only, but for us also. The devil ended all the temptation. Christ let him try all his force, and defeated him. Satan saw it was to no purpose to attack Christ, who had nothing in him for his fiery darts to fasten upon. And if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Yet he departed but till the season when he was again to be let loose upon Jesus, not as a tempter, to draw him to sin, and so to strike at his head, at which he now aimed and was wholly defeated in; but as a persecutor, to bring Christ to suffer, and so to bruise his heel, which it was told him, he should have to do, and would do, though it would be the breaking of his own head, Ge 3:15. Though Satan depart for a season, we shall never be out of his reach till removed from this present evil world.On the temptation of Jesus, see the notes at Matthew 4:1-11.CHAPTER 4

Lu 4:1-13. Temptation of Christ.

(See on [1564]Mt 4:1-11.)Luke 4:1-13 Christ fasts forty days, and is tempted of the devil.

Luke 4:14,15 He begins to preach.

Luke 4:16-32 The people of Nazareth wonder at his gracious words, but

being offended go about to kill him: he escapeth by miracle.

Luke 4:33-37 He casteth out a devil,

Luke 4:38-39 healeth Simeon’s mother-in-law,

Luke 4:40 and many other diseased persons.

Luke 4:41 The devils acknowledging him are silenced.

Luke 4:42-44 He preacheth through the cities of Galilee.

By the Holy Ghost here is to be understood the gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to the prophecy of him, Isaiah 11:1,2. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are often in holy writ called the Spirit, Acts 2:4 8:18 10:44: and not only those that are influenced with the saving gifts and graces of the Spirit, are said to have the Spirit, and be filled; but those who received the more extraordinary powers of it, such as the gifts of prophecy, healing, &c. Others besides Christ are in Scripture said to be filled with the Spirit, Acts 6:5; and it was so prophesied concerning John, Luke 1:15. But they had but their measure; to Christ the Spirit was given not by measure, John 3:34.

He returned from Jordan: there John baptized, there Christ was baptized by him.

And was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Hgeto saith Luke. ’ Anhcyh saith Matthew. Mark expresses it by the word ekballei. The words do not signify a violent motion, (for without doubt Christ went willingly), but a potent and efficacious motion.

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost,.... The Spirit of God having descended on him at his baptism, and afresh anointed, and filled his human nature with his gifts, whereby, as man, he was abundantly furnished for the great work of the public ministry, he was just about to enter upon; yet must first go through a series of temptations, and which, through the fulness of the Holy Spirit in him, he was sufficiently fortified against.

Returned from Jordan; where he came, and had been with John, and was baptized by him; which, when over, he went back from the same side of Jordan, to which he came:

and was led by the Spirit; the same Spirit, or Holy Ghost he was full of; See Gill on Matthew 4:1.

into the wilderness; of Judea, which lay near Jordan, and where John had been preaching and baptizing, namely, in the habitable: part of it: but this was that part, which was uninhabited by men, and was infested with wild beasts, and where Christ could neither have the comfort and benefit of human society, nor any thing for the sustenance of life, and where he was exposed to the utmost danger; and so in circumstances very opportune and favourable for Satan to ply him with his temptations, for which purpose he was led thither.

And {1} Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

(1) Christ, being carried away (as it were out of the world) into the desert, comes suddenly as if from heaven, having fasted for forty days and overcoming Satan three times, and thus begins his office.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 4:1-13. See on Matthew 4:1-11. Comp. Mark 1:13.

According to the reading ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ (see the critical remarks), Luke says: and He was led by the (Holy) Spirit in the wilderness, whilst He was for forty days tempted of the devil. Thus the Spirit had Him in His guidance as His ruling principle (Romans 8:14). Luke relates besides, varying from Matthew, that Jesus (1) during forty days (comp. Mark 1:13) was tempted of the devil (how? is not specified), and that then, (2) moreover, the three special temptations related in detail occurred.[81] This variation from Matthew remained also in the Recepta εἰς τὴν ἔρημον, in respect of which the translation would be: He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness in order to be tempted of the devil during the space of forty days (by reason of the present participle, see on Luke 2:45).

Luke 4:3. τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ] more concrete than Matthew 4:4.

Luke 4:5. ἈΝΑΓΑΓΏΝ] (see the critical remarks) he led Him upwards from the wilderness to a more loftily situated place. The “very high mountain” (Matthew) is a more exact definition due to the further developed tradition. Luke has drawn from another source.

ἐν στιγμῇ χρ.] in a point of time, in a moment, a magically simultaneous glimpse; a peculiar feature of the representation.[82] On the expression, comp. Plut. Mor. p. 104 A; Jacobs, ad Anthol. VII. p. 126.

Luke 4:6. αὐτῶν] ΤῶΝ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙῶΝ.

Observe the emphasis of ΣΟῚἘΜΟΊΣΎ (Luke 4:7).

ΠΑΡΑΔΈΔΟΤΑΙ] by God, which the boastful devil cunningly intends to have taken for granted.

Luke 4:10 f. ὅτι] not recitative, but: that, and then καὶ ὅτι: and that. Comp. Luke 7:16. Otherwise in Matthew 4:6.

μήποτε] ne unquam, not necessarily to be written separately (Bornemann); see rather Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 107; Lipsius, Gramm. Unters. p. 129 f.

Luke 4:13. πάντα πειρασμ.] every temptation, so that he had no further temptation in readiness. “Omnia tela consumsit,” Bengel.

ἄχρι καιροῦ] until a fitting season, when he would appear anew against Him to tempt Him. It is to be taken subjectively of the purpose and idea of the devil; he thought at some later time, at some more fortunate hour, to be able with better success to approach Him. Historically he did not undertake this again directly, but indirectly, as it repeatedly occurred by means of the Pharisees, etc. (John 8:40 ff.), and at last by means of Judas, Luke 22:3[83]; but with what glorious result for the tempted! Comp. John 14:30. The difference of meaning which Tittmann, Synon. p. 37, has asserted (according to which ἄχρι καιροῦ is said to be equivalent to ἝΩς ΤΈΛΟΥς) is pure invention. See Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 308 f. Whether, moreover, the characteristic addition ἄχρι καιροῦ is a remnant of the primitive form of this narrative (Ewald) or is appended from later reflection, is an open question. But it is hardly an addition inserted by Luke himself (Bleek, Holtzmann, and others), since it is connected with the omission of the ministry of the angels. This omission is not to be attributed to a realistic effort on the part of Luke (Holtzmann, but see Luke 22:43), but must have been a feature of the source used by him, and hence the ἄχρι καιροῦ must also have already formed part of it.

[81] According to Hilgenfeld, Luke’s dependence on Matthew and Mark is said to be manifested with special clearness from his narrative of the temptation. But just in regard to this narrative he must have followed a distinct source, because otherwise his variation in the sequence of the temptations (see on Matthew 4:5, Rem.), and the omission of the angels’ ministry, would be incomprehensible (which Hilgenfeld therefore declares to be a pure invention), as, moreover, the ἄχρι καιροῦ (ver. 13) peculiar to Luke points to another source.

[82] The various attempts to make this ἐν στιγμῆ χρότου intelligible may be seen in Nebe, d. Versuch. d. Herrn, Wetzlar 1857, p. 109 ff. The author himself, regarding the temptation as an actual external history, avails himself of the analogy of the fatum morganum, but says that before the eye of the Lord the magical picture immediately dissolved. But according to the connection ἐν στιγμ. χρ. does not mean that the appearance lasted only a single moment, but that the whole of the kingdoms were brought within the view of Jesus, not as it were successively, but in one moment, notwithstanding their varied local situation upon the whole earth. Bengel says appropriately, “acuta tentatio.”

[83] According to Wieseler, Synopse, p. 201, the persecutions on the part of the Jews are meant, which had begun, John 5:15-18 ff.; there would therefore be a longer interval between vv. 13, 14. But a comparison of ver. 14 with ver. 1 shows that this interval is introduced in the harmonistic interest; moreover, Hofmann’s reference to the agony in Gethsemane (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 317) is introduced, since not this, but probably the whole opposition of the hierarchy (John 8:44), and finally the crime of Judas (John 13:2; John 13:27), appears as the work of the devil.Luke 4:1-13. The Temptation (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13). Lk.’s account of the temptation resembles Mt.’s so closely as to suggest a common source. Yet there are points of difference of which a not improbable explanation is editorial solicitude to prevent wrong impressions, and ensure edification in connection with perusal of a narrative relating to a delicate subject: the temptation of the Holy Jesus by the unholy adversary. This solicitude might of course have stamped itself on the source Lk. uses, but it seems preferable to ascribe it to himself.Ch. Luke 4:1-13. The Temptation

1. being full of the Holy Ghost] Omit ‘being.’ St Luke often calls special attention to the work of the Spirit, Luke 3:22, Luke 4:14; Acts 6:3; Acts 7:55; Acts 11:24. The expression alludes to the outpouring of the Spirit upon Jesus at His baptism, John 3:34. The narrative should be compared with Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13. St John, who narrates mainly what he had himself seen, omits the temptation.

returned] Rather, went away.

was led] A divine impulse led him to face the hour of peril alone. St Mark uses the more intense expression, “immediately the Spirit driveth Him forth.” He only devotes two verses (Mark 1:12-13) to the Temptation, but adds the graphic touch that “He was with the wild beasts” (comp. Psalm 91:13), and implies the continuous ministration of angels (diekonoun) to Him.

by the Spirit] Rather, in the Spirit, comp. Luke 2:27. The phrase emphasizes the “full of the Holy Ghost,” and has the same meaning as “in the power of the Spirit,” Luke 4:14,

“Thou Spirit, who ledd’st this glorious eremite

Into the desert, his victorious field

Against the spiritual foe, and brought’st Him thence

By proof the undoubted Son of God.”

Milton, Par. Reg. i.

into the wilderness] Rather, in. He was ‘in the Spirit’ during the whole period. The scene of the temptation is supposed to be the mountain near Jericho, thence called Quarantania. The tradition is not ancient, but the site is very probable, being rocky, bleak, and repellent—

“A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades.”

Milton.

Scripture everywhere recognises the need of solitude and meditation on the eve of great work for God (Exodus 24:2; 1 Kings 19:4; Galatians 1:17), and this would be necessary to the human nature of our Lord also.Luke 4:1. Πνεύματος ἀγίου πλήρης, full of the Holy Ghost) See ch. Luke 3:22.—ἐν τῷ πνεύματι, in the Spirit) viz. that Spirit, the Holy Spirit [given Him specially at His baptism].Verses 1-13. - THE TEMPTATION. The consecration of our Lord in his baptism was immediately followed by what is known as his temptation. It is, perhaps, the most mysterious and least understood of any of the scenes of the public ministry related by the evangelists. It is related at some length by SS. Matthew and Luke, with very slight difference of detail, the principal one being the order in which the three great temptations occurred. In St. Mark the notice of this strange episode in the life is very short, but harmonizes perfectly with the longer accounts of SS. Matthew and Luke. St John omits it altogether; first, because, with the earlier written Gospels before him, he was aware that the Church of his Master already possessed ample details of the occurrence; and secondly, the story and lessons of the temptation did not enter into the plan which St. John had before him when he composed his history of his Lord's teaching. What, now, was the temptation? Did the evil one appear to Jesus actually in a bodily form? Did his feet really press some elevation, such as the summit of snowy Hermon, or the still more inaccessible peak of Ararat? and did the far-reaching prospect of sea and land, mountain and valley, bathed in the noonday glory of an Eastern sun, represent to him the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them? Did be in very truth stand on the summit of the great temple-roof, and from that dizzy height gaze on the crowds below, crawling like ants across the sacred court, or toiling along the Jerusalem streets? So generally thought the ancients, and so it would appear, on first thoughts, from St. Matthew's account, where we read (Matthew 4:3), "The tempter came to him.;" and the vivid realistic imagery of St. Mark (Mark 1:12, 13) would rather help us to the same conclusion. Some expositors and students of the Word have imagined - for it comes to little more - that the devil manifested himself to Jesus under the guise of an angel of light; others prove supposed the tempter came to him as a wayfaring man; others, as a priest, as one of the Sanhedrin council. But on further consideration all this seems highly improbable. No appearance of the devil, or of any evil angel, is ever related in the Bible records. The mountain whence the view of the world's kingdoms was obtained after all is fanciful, and any realistic interpretation is thoroughly unsatisfactory and improbable. The greater of the modern scholars of different countries - the Germans Olshausen and Neander, the Dutch Van Oosterzee, the Frenchman Pressense, the Swiss Godet, Farrar and Plumptre in our own land - reject altogether the idea of a presence of the tempter visible to the eye of sense. The whole transaction lay in the spiritual region of the life of Christ, but on that account it was not the less real and true. Nor is it by any means a solitary experience, this living, beholding, listening, and even speaking in the Spirit, narrated by the evangelist in this place as a circumstance in the Lord's life. Centuries before, Ezekiel, when in his exile by the banks of Chebar in Chaldea, was lifted up and borne by the Spirit to far-distant Jerusalem, that he might see the secret sins done in the temple of the Lord (Ezekiel 8:3). Isaiah again, in the year that King Uzziah died, saw the Lord on his throne, surrounded by seraphim; in this vision the prophet speaks, and hears the Lord speak, and a burning coal from off the altar is laid on his mouth (Isaiah 6:1-11). To pass over the several visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others, in which the transactions lay altogether in the spiritual region of their lives, we would instance from the New Testament St. Paul's account of himself caught up into paradise, "whether in the body or out of the body" he could not tell (2 Corinthians 12:1-4). And still more to the point, St. John's words prefacing his Revelation, how he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day," when he heard the voice behind him, and saw his glorified Master. On that day and in that hour he heard and saw what he relates in his twenty-two chapters of the Revelation. In language very slightly different, the temptation of the blessed Son of God is related by the evangelists, when they preface the history of the event with the words, "Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost... was led by the Spirit into the wilderness" (see, too, Matthew 4:1). We conclude, then, with some confidence, that the devil did not appear to Jesus in a bodily form, but that, in a higher sphere than that of matter, the Redeemer met and encountered - with the result we know so well - that spiritual being of superhuman but yet of limited power, who tempts men to evil, and accuses them before the throne of God when they have yielded to the temptation. "We believe" - to use Godet's words here - "that had he been observed by any spectator whilst the temptation was going on, he would have appeared all through it motionless upon the soil of the desert. But though the conflict did not pass out of the spiritual sphere, it was none the less real, and the value of the victory was none the less incalculable and decisive." Verse 1. - And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness; more accurately translated, in the Spirit. The question of the nature of the temptation has been discussed in the above note. The words, "full of the Holy Ghost," and "was led by the Spirit," lead us irresistibly to the conclusion that the Lord, during this strange solemn time - like Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, and, later, Paul and John the beloved apostle - was especially under the influence of the Holy Spirit; that his eyes were open to see visions and sights not usually visible to mortal eye; and that his ears were unlocked to hear voices not audible to ordinary mortal ears. Tradition has fixed upon a hill district bordering on the road which leads up from Jericho to Jerusalem, as the scene of the temptation. The hill itself, from being the supposed spot where the Lord spent these forty days, is named Quarantania. The rocks in this neighborhood contain many caves. Was led

So Matthew. Mark says, "The Spirit driveth, (ὲκβάλλει) or thrusteth him forth.

By the Spirit (ἐν τῷ πνεύματι)

The American Revisers render in the spirit, indicating the sphere rather than the impulse of his action.

Into the wilderness

The A. V. has followed the reading εἰς into. The proper reading is ἐν, in. He was not only impelled into the wilderness, but guided in the wilderness by the Spirit.

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Luke 3:38
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