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Matthew 4:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit - This transaction appears to have taken place immediately after Christ's baptism; and this bringing up of Christ was through the influence of the Spirit of God; that Spirit which had rested upon him in his baptism.

To be tempted - The first act of the ministry of Jesus Christ was a combat with Satan. Does not this receive light from Genesis 3:17. I will put enmity between the woman's seed and thy seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit - Led up by the Spirit. Luke says Luke 4:1 that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit;” and it was by his influence, therefore, that he went into the desert to be tempted. It was not done by presumption on the part of Jesus, nor was it for a mere display of his power in resisting temptation; but it was evidently that it might be seen that his holiness was such that he could not be seduced from allegiance to God. When the first Adam was created he was subjected to the temptation of the devil, and he fell and involved the race in ruin: it was not improper that the second Adam - the Redeemer of the race - should be subjected to temptation, in order that it might be seen that there was no power that could alienate him from God; that there was a kind and a degree of holiness which no art or power could estrange from allegiance. Mark Mark 1:12 says that this occurred “immediately” after his baptism; that is, in his case, as not unfrequently happens, the great temptation followed immediately the remarkable manifestation of the divine approbation and favor. In the clearest manifestations of the divine favor to us we may not be far from most powerful temptations, and then may be the time when it is necessary to be most carefully on our guard.

Into the wilderness - See the notes at Matthew 3:1.

To be tempted - The word “tempt,” in the original, means to try, to endeavor, to attempt to do a thing; then, to try the nature of a thing, as metals by fire; then, to test moral qualities by trying them, to see how they will endure; then, to endeavor to draw people away from virtue by suggesting motives to evil. This is the meaning here, and this is now the established sense of the word in the English language.

The devil - This word originally means an adversary, or an accuser; then, any one opposed to us; then, an enemy of any kind. It is given in the Scriptures, by way of eminence, to the leader of evil angels - a being characterized as full of subtlety, envy, art, and hatred of mankind. He is known, also, by the name Satan, Job 1:6-12; Matthew 12:26; Beelzebub, Matthew 12:24; the old Serpent, Revelation 12:9; and the Prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2:2. The name is once given to women 1 Timothy 3:11; “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers;” in the original, devils.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Concerning Christ's temptation, observe, that directly after he was declared to be the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world, he was tempted; great privileges, and special tokens of Divine favour, will not secure any from being tempted. But if the Holy Spirit witness to our being adopted as children of God, that will answer all the suggestions of the evil spirit. Christ was directed to the combat. If we presume upon our own strength, and tempt the devil to tempt us, we provoke God to leave us to ourselves. Others are tempted, when drawn aside of their own lust, and enticed, Jas 1:14; but our Lord Jesus had no corrupt nature, therefore he was tempted only by the devil. In the temptation of Christ it appears that our enemy is subtle, spiteful, and very daring; but he can be resisted. It is a comfort to us that Christ suffered, being tempted; for thus it appears that our temptations, if not yielded to, are not sins, they are afflictions only. Satan aimed in all his temptations, to bring Christ to sin against God. 1. He tempted him to despair of his Father's goodness, and to distrust his Father's care concerning him. It is one of the wiles of Satan to take advantage of our outward condition; and those who are brought into straits have need to double their guard. Christ answered all the temptations of Satan with "It is written;" to set us an example, he appealed to what was written in the Scriptures. This method we must take, when at any time we are tempted to sin. Let us learn not to take any wrong courses for our supply, when our wants are ever so pressing: in some way or other the Lord will provide. 2. Satan tempted Christ to presume upon his Father's power and protection, in a point of safety. Nor are any extremes more dangerous than despair and presumption, especially in the affairs of our souls. Satan has no objection to holy places as the scene of his assaults. Let us not, in any place, be off our watch. The holy city is the place, where he does, with the greatest advantage, tempt men to pride and presumption. All high places are slippery places; advancements in the world makes a man a mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at. Is Satan so well versed in Scripture as to be able to quote it readily? He is so. It is possible for a man to have his head full of Scripture notions, and his mouth full of Scripture expressions, while his heart is full of bitter enmity to God and to all goodness. Satan misquoted the words. If we go out of our way, out of the way of our duty, we forfeit the promise, and put ourselves out of God's protection. This passage, De 8:3, made against the tempter, therefore he left out part. This promise is firm and stands good. But shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? No. 3. Satan tempted Christ to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary; by that men are most easily imposed upon. Christ was tempted to worship Satan. He rejected the proposal with abhorrence. "Get thee hence, Satan!" Some temptations are openly wicked; and they are not merely to be opposed, but rejected at once. It is good to be quick and firm in resisting temptation. If we resist the devil he will flee from us. But the soul that deliberates is almost overcome. We find but few who can decidedly reject such baits as Satan offers; yet what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Christ was succoured after the temptation, for his encouragement to go on in his undertaking, and for our encouragement to trust in him; for as he knew, by experience, what it was to suffer, being tempted, so he knew what it was to be succoured, being tempted; therefore we may expect, not only that he will feel for his tempted people, but that he will come to them with seasonable relief.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 248.3

Whatever his educational attainments, only he who realizes his accountability to God, and who is led by the Holy Spirit, can be an effectual teacher, or be successful in winning to God those who are brought under his influence. Shall those who do not heed the divine counsel be acknowledged as leaders in the Lord's institutions?—God forbid. How can we regard as safe guides those who manifest a spirit of unbelief, and who, in words and character, fail of revealing true godliness? TDG 248.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 32.1

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Matthew 4:1. TMK 32.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 128.3

From the Jordan, Jesus was led into the wilderness of temptation. “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:2, 3). 3SM 128.3

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Ellen G. White
Confrontation, 9.1

After the baptism of Jesus in Jordan He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. When He had come up out of the water, He bowed upon Jordan's banks and pleaded with the great Eternal for strength to endure the conflict with the fallen foe. The opening of the heavens and the descent of the excellent glory attested His divine character. The voice from the Father declared the close relation of Christ to His Infinite Majesty: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The mission of Christ was soon to begin. But He must first withdraw from the busy scenes of life to a desolate wilderness for the express purpose of bearing the threefold test of temptation in behalf of those He had come to redeem. Con 9.1

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