Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungry.…
If any one say He was not moved by any of those temptations, he must be told that then they were no temptations to Him, and He was not tempted; nor was His victory of more significance than that of the man who, tempted to bear false witness against his neighbour, abstains from robbing him of his goods. For human need, struggle and hope, it bears no meaning; and we must reject the whole as a fantastic folly of crude invention, a mere stage show; a lie for the poor sake of the fancied truth. But asserting that these were real temptations if the story is to be received at all, am I not involving myself in a greater difficulty still? For how could the Son of God be tempted with evil? In the answer to this lies the centre, the essential germ of the whole interpretation: " He was not tempted with evil, but with good"; with inferior forms of good, that is, pressing upon Him, while the higher forms of good held themselves aloof, biding their time, that is, God's time. I do Dot believe that the Son of God could be tempted with evil, but I do believe that He could be tempted with good — to yield to which temptation would have been evil in Him — to the universe.
(G. Macdonald, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.