Matthew 4:1

The first verse of the temptation narrative contains the strange remark that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness in order to be tempted by the devil. Obviously the Spirit is the same “Spirit of God” who had just been mentioned in Matthew 3:16 and who descended on Jesus when he was baptized. This is puzzling. Why would God’s Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted, and did God use Satan as his instrument to tempt Jesus?

April 30, 2003