Part Five: The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness


By Craig Bluemel


This series is about the true identity of the man, Jesus of Nazareth: of his human weakness, temptations, and obedience to Yahweh his Father, as he was perfected through suffering.



Jesus is Tempted

The Appropriate Translation and Harmony of Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 3:23; 4:1-13, and Mark 1:12-13




The Appropriate Translation combines all three-gospel records carefully sequenced to accurately portray his ordeal and give the reader a deeper appreciation and love for the son of man.  Special care was given to be true to the tense, voice, and mood of the Greek in the translation process.  Each of the three, independent gospel authors is allowed to fully express the inspired writ.  I feel confident that once you’ve read thru it deliberately and with time to meditate, you will have a deeper appreciation for Jesus.  My prayerful hope is that you see him as Lord, but also as your brother in Yahweh.  Working on this retranslation of the gospel records of Jesus’ temptation in the desert wilderness helped me to understand him as a human example.  It has given me the incentive to emulate and pattern my life after his own walk with God and his obedient response to the will and word of God.  It deepened insights about Jesus of Nazareth, the man I know as the Author and Finisher of our faith!


As John the apostle describes in his shorter epistles, it is the anointing that teaches us all things.  Once you understand by the spirit that every word of scripture is written by divine inspiration, the text becomes so tangible, so touchable, and so alive.  In the mind of your born-again human spirit, you will experience Jesus of Nazareth having a shoulder level view of his victory over the devil’s temptations. 



Jesus is Tempted by the Devil in the Wilderness

Harmony of Matthew 4: 1-11, Luke 3:23; 4:1-13, & Mark 1:12-13

The Appropriate Translation


Luke 3:23 And when he was inaugurated, Jesus himself was nearly thirty years of age, regarded as Joseph’s son (under the Law)… Luke 4:1 having completed (the cycle of) a morally blameless life, Jesus returned from {being water baptized by John the Baptist in the river called} the Jordan and was guided in his mental disposition into a place, which he perceived by the senses to be lonely and desolate.  


Matthew 4:1A At that {same} time Jesus was driven up into the desert; Mark 1:12 At once, this (evil) spirit threw him out with violence into the desert, {all the} while, he is remaining under the purpose and direction of the spirit, in order to be scrutinized and thoroughly tested in character, while being subjected to solicitation by the traducer (i.e. – the devil; the one who willingly misrepresents another by propagating defamation of character). 


Mark 1:13 He {Jesus} was remaining in the wilderness and being tempted by Satan for forty days; and he was amid the venomous vipers and dangerous animals, and the angels were attending to and serving him.  Matthew 4:2 And he abstained from food for forty days and forty nights, and eventually he was famished, feeling hunger pangs. 


Luke 4:2 Forty days he remained under the scrutiny and enticement of the devil.  And he did not eat even one thing during those days, and when they were completely ended, he felt famished and craved food.


Matthew 4:3 And the tempter came near to him and said, “If you exist as God’s son, speak with the aim that these small stones here, come into existence as loaves of bread.” 


Matthew 4:4 But he {Jesus} answered with discretion, having concluded to himself, “It has been written (engraved), ‘Mankind shall not live solely on loaves of bread, but upheld and sustained by every utterance that comes forth through God’s mouth.’”


Luke 4:3 Then the devil said to Him, “If, you exist conditionally as God’s son, order this little stone to turn into a loaf of bread.” 


Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered with discretion toward him, “It is written (engraved), therefore substantiated, ‘not on bread solely shall man live.’”


Matthew 4:5-11 Then, at that time the slanderer (Satan) took hold of and brought him {Jesus} near to the sacred habitation (i.e. – God’s dwelling place) and placed him on the winglet (i.e. – the extremity; referring to a place of flight) of the sacred position.


Matthew 4:6 And he (the devil) connected words together, joining one word to the next and laying them forth said, “If you exist (conditionally) as God’s son, throw yourself downward; because for this reason it is written (engraved), ‘He will direct His messengers around you, and upon hands lift up and take you away lest at some time you ever trip up your foot against a stumbling stone.’  (Psalm 91:11,12) 


Matthew 4:7 Once again Jesus made his thoughts known to him (the devil), saying, “It is written, ‘you shall not pierce yourself through by experimenting with the origin of your God’s authority.”  (Deuteronomy 6:16) 


Matthew 4:8 Once more the devil associated himself with him {Jesus} thru use of a familiar affection, by lifting him emotionally, mentally, and spiritually up in a lofty place in the spirit realm, causing him to feel the experience of being in this elevated and lofty position, (including the degree of dignity & recognition), to experience what it is like to have the ruling dominion over all of the moral affairs of the inhabitants of the world and the resulting honor of them. 


Matthew 4:9 And he {the devil} said to him {Jesus}, “All these things, taken together, I will give to you, if You will prostrate yourself before me and do homage and worship me. 


Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan!  For it has been written, ‘You shall worship the Yahweh your Elohiym, and Him alone shall you serve.’” (Deuteronomy 6:13)


Matthew 4:11Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.   


Luke 4:5-8 And inducing him upward (like sailing away in a vision), thereby exposing to the eyes of his {Jesus’} understanding, the entire rule & foundation of power of the Roman Empire, {doing so} in an instant, interval of time.  Luke 4:6 And {then} the devil said to him, “To you I will give the power of choice over all, quite literally, all of this, including the universal power of both judicial & governmental authority, with the liberty to do with it as you please, so that it {the Roman Empire} is entirely subject to your {Jesus’} rule as a human magistrate, plus to you as the kingly majesty & supreme ruler, for its authority has been surrendered into my hands and control {by Adam, who had complete dominion}, for me {the devil} to use and manage {as I please}, and I give it to whomsoever my impulsive inclination or to whomsoever I have determined.  Luke 4:7 Accordingly, these things, being such as I have explained them to you {Jesus} and if you are so inclined to show homage to me {the devil}, in my presence, as a man, that by this, you recognize me as being superior in rank to you, then it shall all be yours.” 


Luke 4:8 And Jesus, first separating thru {the devil’s rhetoric} with careful discernment and deliberation, {by separating} his own thoughts from those of his losing opponent, {Jesus} responded back to him, “It is written, ‘The Mighty One your Master is Superior, and you shall fall prostrate before Him {Yahweh} as one {the devil} who is much inferior {to Him}, fall to your knees {Satan}, and touch your forehead to the ground, throwing kisses at the same time toward Yahweh God, as your superior!  And, to Him alone shall you serve as a hired servant.” (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20) 


Luke 4:9 Then he {the devil} induced and led him {Jesus} away to stand upon the temple; and then, as if to teach him the correct way to fly, extended his arm by pointing it like an arrow aimed to depict the feathered tip of a wing, he {the devil} said to Him {Jesus}, “If You are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here, Luke 4:10 for it is written, ‘His messengers are commanded to be around you and be guarding around you, {right up} until the very end, Luke 4:11 upholding and preserving you all around, wherever you are, to raise and elevate yourself from the ground, lest ever you happen get tripped up on a stone while running {to take flight}.’”   (Psalms 91:11,12). 


Luke 4:12 And Jesus, {again, by} first separating thru {the use of} careful discernment and deliberation, his own thoughts from those of his losing opponent {the devil}, responded back to him, “It is exactly quoted, when spoken, “You shall not be putting the Master of Strength to the test, refusing to believe Him or His Word, until or unless He has manifested His power.” (Deuteronomy 6:16)


Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every attempt to make trial of his character, by trying to tempt him and put {his mind & heart} to the test, for the purpose of causing Jesus to fall, the devil stood aloof from him and withdrew until another more opportune and favorable time. 



Jesus of Nazareth – Made in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh


In Luke 3:23, when Jesus was inaugurated, at about thirty years of age, he was still regarded as Joseph’s son (under the Law).  Thru his mother Mary, Jesus was descended from the fleshly bloodline of Aaron, who was descended from Levi, along with Moses.  We know this to be the case, because Luke’s gospel describes her as a blood relative of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, who was descended from the daughters of Aaron.


&  Luke 1:5-8 It came to pass, in the days of Herod, king of Judea, that there was a certain priest, by name Zacharias, of the daily course of Abijah; and that he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and, her name, was Elizabeth.  6 Now they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and righteous appointments of the Lord, blameless; 7 and they had no child, inasmuch as Elizabeth was barren, and, both, had become, advanced in their days.  8 But it came to pass, as he was doing priestly service in the order of his daily course, before God, 9 according to the custom of his priesthood, it fell to his lot to offer incense, entering into the Temple of the Lord.”


Most Christians get confused over the blood lineage of Jesus because of the Old Testament prophecies say that the Messiah comes from the tribe of Judah according to the flesh.  They do not realize just how very literal ‘the flesh’ is meant to be!  The only ‘flesh’ that Jesus’ bloodline is genetically traceable to Judah thru comes from Joseph, his earthly stepfather.  Mary is a bloodline relative of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.  We read in Luke 1:5-8, that a certain priest, by name Zacharias, of the daily course of priests back to the priestly line of Abijah; and that he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and, her name, was Elizabeth. 


&  Luke 1:23-27 Later, when his days of duty were over, he went back home, 24 and soon afterwards his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and kept herself secluded for five months. 25 “How good the Lord is to me,” she would say, “now that he has taken away the shame that I have suffered.”  26 Then, in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a Galilean town, Nazareth by name, 27 to a young woman who was engaged to a man called Joseph (a descendant of David).  The girl’s name was Mary.


Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is Joseph’s wife, is the only traceable bloodline lineage that Jesus has, and she is related by heredity to Elizabeth, who as mentioned earlier, is of the ‘daughters of Aaron.’  After the angel Gabriel delivered from Yahweh a promise to Zacharias the Levitical priest, that his wife would bear a son named John, Elizabeth secluded herself from the neighbors watchful eyes until the end of her fifth month of pregnancy.  No explanation is given for why she hid or concealed her pregnancy, but it was not revealed to anyone but Zacharias, until after Elizabeth received an unexpected visit from her cousin Mary, in her fifth-going-on-sixth moth of pregnancy.


Meanwhile, in a portion of the angel Gabriel’s message from Yahweh God to Mary, he told her that her ‘relative Elizabeth’ is also pregnant with a son (read verses below):


&  Luke 1:34-40 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”  38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”  And the angel departed from her.  39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. New King James Version


&  Relative = OT:4773 suggenes; a relative (by blood); by extension, a fellow countryman: cousin, kin (kinsfolk, kinsman); congenital, hence akin to, a kinsman, relative. suggenes is a compounded word from sun OT:4862.a primary preposition and genos OT:1085 (see individual word definitions below):


A.    sun OT:4862.a primary preposition denoting union; with or i.e. by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession.


B.    genos OT:1085 of the same kin, akin to, related by blood; in a wider sense, of the same nation, a fellow countryman; from OT:1096 (see 1-5 below):


1)    Kindred.

2)    Offspring

3)     Family

4)    Stock, tribe, nation i.e. nationality or descent from a particular people

5)    The aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, kind, sort


Jesus was from the tribe of Judah according to mankind’s fleshly requirements thru his stepfather Joseph, and he was from the Levitical order of priests thru the bloodline of Mary his mother, herself related to Elizabeth, one of the descendents of the daughters of Aaron.  Thru Joseph and Judah, Jesus fulfills Yahweh’s promise to king David, that 0one of his descendents would ascend to the throne of Israel, ruling in justice and righteousness to the ages.  The oath of promise that Yahweh made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and Moses concerning the righteous seed and an eternal covenant of priests is fulfilled in Jesus legally thru his mother Mary’s bloodline, but spiritually thru being made perfect by obedience inj that which he suffered, having been made subject in weakness by virtue of the wilderness experience and the cross.  This is where we will pick up in Part 6.  I hope you’re enjoying the series, and learning more about Jesus of Nazareth, the truly sympathetic High Priest we love.


&  Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without (Literally = apart from dependence upon) sin.  New King James Version


In Luke 3:23, Jesus was about thirty years of age when he was “inaugurated”; the choice of words to describe this inauguration is derived from the Greek meaning of “archómenos,” is translated as, “public ministry,” in some Bible versions.  This Greek word is constructed in the middle voice form of archomai, which is a verbal adjective that can function as a noun.  The literal meaning of archomai is, “commencement (in order of time).”  Archomai also shows precedence because it is a compound of archo and meno; archo means, “to be first in political rank or power” and meno means, “to continue (as).”  Jesus the man is first in rank as the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.  God the Father appointed Jesus as the Head of His spiritual house, the church, comprised of Jew and Gentile alike.


&  Hebrews 3:1-2, 6-9 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house… 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.” (See also Psalms 95:7-11) New King James Version


More than any book in the New Testament, the Book of Hebrews gives us detailed insight about the role of the man Jesus Christ as God’s appointed High Priest.  Yahweh God appointed Jesus of Nazareth into a new order of priesthood called to be a priest to God Most High, according to the order of Melchizedek, (meaning ‘order of Righteousness’).


Jesus had to grow and mature into his messianic role; it took 30 years of refining, and learning human regard for absolute compliance with his Father’s will and authority through obedience to the scriptures.  Very little is known about his childhood, adolescence and young adulthood of Jesus; just the same, the scripture says he was tested and tried in all ways, just as his fellow brethren.  We need only to reflect on our own years growing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men to put together a composite picture of Jesus’ maturation process.


&  Hebrews 2:17-18 Therefore, in all things He {Jesus} had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.  New King James Version


Melchizedek is briefly described in Genesis 14:18 and once more we see him described in Hebrews 7:1-2.  Melchizedek is called the ‘king of Salem’ and also called ‘priest of God, Most High.’  In some Bible versions, Melchizedek is called ‘priest of the most high God.’  The former of the two is more accurate to the original language, primarily because the Hebrew text omits the definite article.


The name Melchizedek means ‘righteousness’ and so he is a fitting type of Christ, in that his unique priesthood is the only means by which Yahweh’s ‘right standing’ or ‘righteous’ is provided.  Jesus is the way to God (John 14) and also, Melchizedek as ‘king of Salem’ is literally meaning ‘king of peace.’

The Book of Hebrews contains several key and important scriptures that identify Jesus as our mediator and High Priest, according to the order of Melchizedek. 


Always keep in mind that when the Old and New Testaments were originally penned, they did not include the typical chapter and verse numbers that we find ion all modern Bibles.  The scriptures in the New Testament were primarily written for three purposes by the apostles and leading, credible witnesses, such as Luke the physician: 1) Historical record 2) letters to churches 3) affirm & interpret Old Testament scriptures & related prophecies.


The spirit of the glorified son of God is the only one that can truly identify with and sympathize with you personally in your daily struggles, hurts, confusion, anxiety, and fear.  God the Father is He that provides you with the spiritual grace (i.e. the influence upon your spirit, also known as your ‘heart’) to calm, and give you that space in time where it means the difference between your umpteenth failure and your first real victory over sin, the flesh, and the devil. 


Ask Yahweh God, the Father, to guide and teach you thru the spirit of His glorified Jesus.  Thru the Father’s spiritual strength, Jesus will imbue your life with a morally pure and blameless spirit, as you confess your sins and weaknesses to him and then just begin to pray in other tongues, as the spirit gives you the utterance.


&  Acts 2:2 And unexpectedly there came out of the sky a loud noise exactly like the moving, forcible wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  3 And they gazed at languages in distribution {among them} as though it were {like} fire {so unusual was it}, and it settled around each one of them.  4 And they were all wholly drenched in an undefiled, spiritual life (Pneúmatos Hagíou), and, as the first in order, {in the church}, {they} commenced uttering (at random) words of a different kind {of} language, just as the spirit was giving them {the ability} to enunciate clearly.  The Appropriate Translation


&  Acts 2:33, 38-39 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of Yahweh God, and having received from the Father the promise of living as His consecrated one, He has poured forth this {form of} spiritual life,(toú Pneúmatos toú Hagíou), which you both see and hear…” 38 Then again Peter made known his thoughts, saying to them {to the Jews}, “Exercise your minds to think differently, having sorrow and a change of heart toward God, and each one of you {Jews}, will be immersed (submerged; baptized) in the authority & character of the name of Yahweh’s Anointed, the one {man Jesus, whom} He consecrated to serve & save you; for his {Jesus’} intent {while among you}, was that you be pardoned for your sins, so that your purpose {as God’s elect} would be to take hold of Yah’s gratuity (a gift given of one’s own free will), thereby enabling you to live the morally blameless life (toú Hagíou Pneúmatos).”  The Appropriate Translation



Craig Bluemel

The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give reasonable justification to anyone who asks you for an explanation of the hope that is within you,  but do it considerately and courteously.



SELAH…Pause and reflect



Continued in Part Six


Go directly to these parts of the “Jesus…Our Sympathetic High Priest” Study:

Part 1: Jesus the Anointed One

Part 2: Deity of Christ Doctrine Refuted

Part 3: John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Part 4: Jesus GAVE His Human Soul as an Offering for Guilt

Part 5: The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness

Part 6: Was it "Divine Blood" that Jesus Offered in Sacrifice on the Cross?





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