Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungry.…
When we read of the tempter approaching with his wiles Him whom we know to be the Lord incarnate, God the Maker of all being, we have something of the feeling with which we read of those imaginary conflicts in which man is supposed to strive with beings of a higher order: we feel, that is, as if there could be no real contest; that it is but the apparent acting out of what would be naturally impossible. When we compare the paltry baits with the infinite worthiness of Him to whom they were proffered, we feel so sure of the conclusion, that, knowing the craft and subtlety of the tempter, we cannot believe that he could thus attempt to turn aside the perfect uprightness of God's only Son. Here, then, we need the recollection, that to him had not been made the revelation we possess of Christ's eternal power and Godhead; that from him was kept secret the virginity of Mary and Him who was born of her, as also the death of our Lord — three of the mysteries the most spoken of in the world, yet done in secret by God; that all he knew was that this was the champion of man, the Holy One of God, the Second Adam, with whom, as with the first, was to be his great struggle for the dominion of the world. He knew that he had triumphed once, by like temptations, over the same nature unfallen; and how should it fare better now?... When we look at the temptation in this light, how strikingly does it fall in with the whole course of God's revealed dealings! Throughout the Old Testament Satan is scarcely mentioned; and in the New he is less emphatically the enemy of God than of Christ, as if between the prince of this world and the Son of Man must be the mighty struggle. The devil (says ) was to be overcome, not by the power of God, but by His righteousness.
(Bishop S. Wilberforce.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.