Once John baptized Jesus, according to all three synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the Judaean desert. After this fast, the devil, the tempter, or Satan appeared to Jesus trying to test or tempt him. Jesus refused each of the 3 human temptations concerning the hedonism of hunger, the egotism of power, and the materialism of wealth. These temptations were to mislead and pervert the thinking, wishing, and feeling of Jesus. Although Mark‘s account was very brief, Matthew and Luke described the temptations in great detail that may have come from their common Q source. Is this a parable? What was the purpose of these accounts? There is no doubt that Matthew used language from the Old Testament Septuagint with a series of quotations from Deuteronomy. Fasting was a preparation for a great spiritual struggle. Once the temptations were over, Satan departed. Then angels of God began looking after Jesus. These temptations of Jesus have had many portrayals in art, literature, film, and music, since they have captured the imagination of many of the followers of Jesus Christ
Christianity is an encounter within human experience. We push out towards the horizon, the boundary between earth and sky, the mystery of God. We seem to get to that horizon, but then it eludes us. We get glimpses of God in this horizon experience. You always know that there is more, and so it is with the friendship of Jesus. This is an active faith that goes beyond understanding, feeling and experience to a way of life. Experience is at the heart of all belief. We all have had a personal development to our faith. We live our discipleship of Jesus in justice, love, and healing, as our faith springs into action.
The New Testament is important for any further Christian theological development. Twentieth century linguistic analysis has shown the importance of communicative word structures to express realities. Words are human expressions about reality, but words convey meaning and feeling only within an understandable shared grammatical linguistic social structure. The authentic meaning of an utterance does not lie in a dictionary, but within the mind of the expression’s originator. Words exist in a specific historic time and place. However, some words endure and transcend spatial temporal limitations, while other words get lost in a particular misunderstood context. We now know the importance of the post-biblical history of the scriptural texts, the Wirkungsgeschichte, the reception and the interpretation of the biblical texts within a historical context with their varied meanings.