Select Page
Read Introduction to Matthew


“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”




The word “then” indicates chronological sequence. The Spirit of God led Jesus, immediately after the baptism, into the desert where the devil would test Him.

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

The purpose of temptation was to demonstrate Jesus’ suitability for ministry as Messiah. Temptation was not for the purpose that the Father would learn something, for the Father had already declared, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus’ temptation was for others to understand His qualifications for ministry.

The word “tempted” carries two meanings: (1) to solicit to sin, and (2) to test or prove something as valid. Jesus’ temptation was to prove His character. Jesus faced temptation as a man, not as God. He was tempted only in His humanity. 

The word “devil” means slanderer, accuser. The devil imputed something to Jesus that He was not. The devil’s purpose was to hinder Jesus from going to the cross.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” Re 12:10


God overrules Satan’s temptation for His own purposes.


Was the humanity of Jesus susceptible to sin? Yes. However, His deity could never sin. His humanity faced true or real temptation. Since He did not have a sin nature or sin capacity, Satan could not appeal to something within Him to sin. Jesus was very similar to Adam and Eve in this regard—for Adam and Eve had no sin capacity. Yet they sinned. Jesus’ temptation was from outside His person. Jesus proved that He could rule Himself before He ruled others.

For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Heb 2:16-18

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:15-16

Jesus was tempted in all points like we are. This is the doctrine of the peccability verses impeccability of Christ. This is the issue of whether Christ could sin or not. The Son of God has two natures: (1) human and (2) divine. His deity is not peccable but His humanity is peccable. However, Christ lived a life of sinlessness:

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me… Jn 14:30

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Co 5:21

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 1 Pe 2:22

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 1 Jn 3:5