JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More is led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he quotes the scriptures to resist three tests by the devil to presume on his being “Son of God.”
Not all goes well in the wilderness. Just as for Israel, so for the MessiahThe Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More: the wilderness is a place of testing of Jesus in preparation for the mission that lies before him. The testing comes tellingly in threes, each test inviting Jesus to presume on his status as Son of God just confirmed by the voice at his baptismJesus was baptized (literally, "dipped") in the Jordan River by John the Baptizer, at which time he was acclaimed from heaven as God's Son, the Beloved. Much later baptism became one of the sacraments of the Church, the action by which a person is incorporated... More. The devil’s, “If you are the Son of God…,” carries with it the same cruel irony as the taunts of the mockers at his crucifixion (27:42-43). In anticipation of the faithful obedience that will lead to his death and resurrection, Jesus resists each test with scriptural pronouncements that rely on the word and promise of God. Perhaps in characteristic Matthean style, the Q-sayings material has been reworked (see LukeThe "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More 4:1-13) to move climactically from concern for personal well-being (hunger) to a grasp for personal power (putting God to the test for safety), to the splendor of ruling a kingdom (worship as a supreme being). The result combines focus on the Gospel’s theme of the kingdom of GodThe kingdom (reign) of God is a central theme of Jesus' teaching and parables. According to Jesus this reign of God is a present reality and at the same time is yet to come. When Christians pray the Lord's Prayer, they ask that God's kingdom... More with the first of the great commands-to love God with all one’s being (22:37). With that affirmation the testing ends suddenly as angels come and minister to Jesus as if in affirmation of his obedient faithfulness.