Matthew 4:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:1, NIV: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:1, ESV: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:1, KJV: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Matthew 4:1, NASB: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:1, NLT: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.

Matthew 4:1, CSB: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

What does Matthew 4:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous chapter ended with the Holy Spirit coming to rest on Jesus and the voice of God the Father declaring that Jesus is His Son. That moment of confirmation and acknowledgement by God is immediately followed by a time of testing in Jesus' life.

This testing was not a sign that the Holy Spirit had left Jesus. On the contrary: it is the Spirit, acting after Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist, leading Jesus into the wilderness where He will be tempted. In other words, it was God's intention that Jesus should endure this time of testing.

It's important to remember that God never tempts anyone to sin (James 1:13). God hates sin and does not wish for anyone to engage in it, including His own Son. However, God will lead believers through times of testing, sometimes in order to strengthen their faith (James 1:2). In this case, God's Spirit leads Jesus into the place and time of testing, but the devil is the one who does the tempting. Jesus' faith does not need to be strengthened. But this time of testing will provide evidence that He remains sinless despite being tempted to sin just as all human beings are (Hebrews 4:15).

Because he is called "the devil," the one doing the tempting here will be Satan himself. Satan is the great deceiver and enemy of God who leads the host of fallen angels known as demons. On several occasions in the Old Testament, Satan stood as the accuser of God's people or was used by God to accomplish His own will (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6–12; 2:1–7; Zechariah 3:1–2).