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
“Then Jesus was led up
By the Spirit
Into the wilderness,
To be tempted
By the devil.”
Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματος, πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου.
Why was Jesus tempted? God, the Father, Yahweh, often tested the righteous ones and the prophets in the Hebrew Bible. Both Mark, chapter 1:12-13, and Luke, chapter 4:1-13, have these temptations in the desert, but only Luke and Matthew are similar with their detailed account of these temptations. The Holy Spirit (ὑπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματος), that Jesus had just received after his baptism in the Jordan River, led Jesus into the wilderness (Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρημον). The Israelites had been in the wilderness during their exodus from Egypt. John the Baptist was also preaching and baptizing in the desert wilderness. There the devil or Satan, the accuser, would tempt Jesus (πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου). Traditionally, the devil has been considered a fallen angel without all the powers of God, but nevertheless very strong. Sometimes he is referred to as the personification of evil.