|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:9-13 Christ's baptism was his first public appearance, after he had long lived unknown. How much hidden worth is there, which in this world is not known! But sooner or later it shall be known, as Christ was. He took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh; and thus, for our sakes, he sanctified himself, that we also might be sanctified, and be baptized with him, Joh 17:19. See how honourably God owned him, when he submitted to John's baptism. He saw the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. We may see heaven opened to us, when we perceive the Spirit descending and working upon us. God's good work in us, is sure evidence of his good will towards us, and preparations for us. As to Christ's temptation, Mark notices his being in the wilderness and that he was with the wild beasts. It was an instance of his Father's care of him, which encouraged him the more that his Father would provide for him. Special protections are earnests of seasonable supplies. The serpent tempted the first Adam in the garden, the Second Adam in the wilderness; with different success indeed; and ever since he still tempts the children of both, in all places and conditions. Company and conversation have their temptations; and being alone, even in a wilderness, has its own also. No place or state exempts, no business, not lawful labouring, eating, or drinking, not even fasting and praying; often in these duties there are the most assaults, but in them is the sweetest victory. The ministration of the good angels is matter of great comfort in reference to the malignant designs of the evil angels; but much more does it comfort us, to have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
Verse 13. - Forty days tempted of Satan. St. Mark gathers up the whole temptation into this one sentence; and the passage would seem to imply that the three temptations recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke were not the only trials through which our Lord passed during those forty days, although they were no doubt the prominent and the most powerful assaults upon our Redeemer. And he was with the wild beasts (μετὰ τῶν θηρίων). This shows the extreme solitude of the place. It shows also the innocence of our Lord, that there, in that wild and desolate district, amongst lions, and wolves, and leopards, and serpents, he neither feared them nor was injured by them. He dwelt amongst them as Adam lived with them in his state of innocence in Paradise. These wild beasts recognized and revered their Creater and their Lord. And the angels ministered unto him. This, as we learn from St. Matthew (Matthew 4:11), was after his temptation and victory. Some have thought that Jesus became known to the devil as the Son of God, by the reverence and adoration of the angels. Thus Jesus showed in his own person, when alone he had striven with Satan and, had overcome him, that heavenly comfort and the ministry of angels are provided by God for those who overcome temptation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he was there in the wilderness forty days,.... The Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions add, "and forty nights": for so long was he there,
tempted of Satan: the several temptations of Satan, and how they were overcome by Christ, are particularly related by the Evangelist Matthew, Matthew 4:3, which are here omitted; and what is not mentioned there, is here recorded:
and was with the wild beasts: which shows, that he was now in an uncultivated and uninhabited part of the desert by men, and where only the most fierce and most savage of creatures dwelt; and yet was as secure and unhurt by them, being the Lord of them, as Adam in Eden's garden, or Daniel in the lions' den. This circumstance is only related by the Evangelist Mark, and is what adds to the uncomfortable situation Christ was in, when tempted by Satan; and his being not hurt by them, may declare, partly his innocence, as man, being as pure and holy as the first man was in his state of integrity, when all creatures were brought before him, to give them names; and partly the power of God, who shut up the mouths of these creatures, that they did him no hurt; and also may signify, the awe they stood in of him, who, as God, is Lord of all. These creatures were more gentle to Christ, and used him better than the wicked Jews, among whom he dwelt, who are compared to lions, dogs, and "bulls" of Bashan, Psalm 22:12.
And the angels ministered unto him; after the temptations were over, and Satan had left him, preparing for him, and bringing to him proper food, after so long a fast; and waiting upon him, and serving him as their great Lord and master; See Gill on Matthew 4:11.
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