Mark 1:13 Commentary - Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Christ was tempted. The word translated "tempted" also has the idea of assay, or test to see what the quality is. The old west was full of assay offices where gold was to be found. The prospector would bring his gold to the assay office to find out what quality the gold was, was it poor or was it of high quality.
Not that anyone needs to be told just how Christ would assay out, He is perfection, He is God how could the assay come back wanting? On the other hand who would be stupid enough to want to test Christ as to quality? No thinking person would suggest such a thing, but Satan - Satan is another being, he just cannot take God at His word, he must test everything that God does or says, lest God be found wanting in some way.
Now I don't know the motivation of Satan at this point, whether he is really inept enough to wonder who and what Christ is or whether he is doing this out of shear desperation. He wants to see if he can find some imperfection in the Lord so that he can point his finger at God and make accusation.
Either way, can you put yourself in the Devil's position and feel his pain? I think there must have been a heavy dose of "that sinking feeling."
The term wilderness is the same term as we have already seen - desert, deserted and those other descriptive terms. Christ was alone with this creature that had been against God from his early days. There must have been a side order of fear in Christ to know the past activity of Satan and to know of his hatred for God. To be alone with such a creature must have been a trial in itself on top of the temptations that went along with it.
As with our previous study, the whole story is in the synoptics. Mat 4:1 ff and Luk 4:1 ff both give the detail of the temptations and Matthew ends the section with the following comment. "Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." There was a lot of time between the temptation that Mark mentions and the angels ministering.
This is normal in the gospels, the different writers leaving out portions of the actual account to bring about the account that they wanted to set down for their readers. Luke mentions in 4.13 "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." Often we invision this temptation as the one time event where Christ was the victor and the opponent went off sulking - not so. This was only the first of the temptations that the Lord was to endure over the course of his ministry.
Don't be lulled into complacency. Be watchful for the Devil's approach. You may feel you have dealt with him, but he is always lurking and watching for a chance to clobber you when you are off guard.
Years ago when pastoring a small work, there had been a lot of discussion about our church buying a Jehovah witness hall for a meeting place. I was opposed to it due to the fact that we had no finances for such a venture and second the town was very anti Jehovah Witness. Most people had signs on their front doors warning the Jehovah Witnesses that they were not welcome to knock.
I had talked to a lot of the townsfolk and found that they to a man told me to not get involved with the building if we ever wanted to grow.
The church met to discuss the issue, voted on it and unanimously decided it would be a poor decision. Having set that beast aside I thought smooth sailing was ahead. About two months later as I was relaxing at a potluck, one of the men of the church - one who did not attend the meeting on the building - sat down beside me and suggested that the church reconsider the Jehovah Witness building. He had been talking to those in the know about the cost of the building etc. and thought reconsideration was in order.
The devil hit me when I was relaxing at a potluck - he never rests even if we try to.
The temptation was followed by a time of recuperation. God sent angels to minister to the Lord. The word translated "minister" is the term that we gain deacon from. It relates to serving the needs of another. Christ had needs and God was there to meet them for Him.
There must have been enjoyment in the Lord's mind to know that the Devil was gone for awhile and He could accept the ministrations of the angels. So, when you have had hard trials, open yourself to the ministrations of others. They are there to assist you, and it is good for you to allow them to have this ministry with you.
On the same hand, do not feel guilty about taking some time for you to recoup from hard times. Take time to refresh, to reflect and to thank the Lord for what he has done in your life.
Consult other comments:
Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson
Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. Copyright 2006
Used by Permission.