Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
I. The TIME of the temptation. Immediately after our Lord's baptism. The time reveals one object of the temptation — the unveiling of the tactics of the Evil One; it was "for a precaution to us." The opening of heaven from above was followed by the opening of hell from beneath. We have to guard the treasure of grace after it is given. When we are expecting peace and joy we have suddenly to enter into struggles, darkness, and desolation. God has an object in permitting the assaults of Satan at such a time; to keep the soul low when from the presence of Divine favour there may be risk of self-exaltation.
II. The INFLUENCE under which Christ was led to the scene of conflict — "led up of the Spirit."
1. The source of the influence. The Holy Spirit. This in accord with other notices of His relations with the incarnate Lord. Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost; preached under His guidance.
2. The extent of the Spirit's influence. A stronger term is used by St. Mark — "The Spirit driveth Him." "We must not enter into temptation unless it be under the guidance of the Spirit of God in the way of providence. The Spirit's movements are often to be known by their contrariety to our inclinations, and should lead to solitude, mortification, etc.
III. The PLACE whither Christ was led. Christ called to meet the tempter in the wilderness, that by His unassisted might the victory should be won. Thus He sanctified times of retreat and states of retirement. They should form a part of the preparation for the ministerial office.
(W. H. Hatchings, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.