106. What do we learn from the temptations of Jesus in the desert?

The temptations of Jesus in the desert recapitulate the temptation of Adam in Paradise and the temptations of Israel in the desert. Satan tempts Jesus in regard to his obedience to the mission given him by the Father. Christ, the new Adam, resists and his victory proclaims that of his passion which is the supreme obedience of his filial love. The Church unites herself to this mystery in a special way in the liturgical season of Lent.


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Paragraph 538

538. The Gospels speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert immediately after his baptism by John. Driven by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus remains there for forty days without eating; he lives among wild beasts, and angels minister to him.241 At the end of this time Satan tempts him three times, seeking to compromise his filial attitude toward God. Jesus rebuffs these attacks, which recapitulate the temptations of Adam in Paradise and of Israel in the desert, and the devil leaves him "until an opportune time".242

Paragraph 539

539. The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfils Israel's vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God's Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil's conqueror: he "binds the strong man" to take back his plunder.243 Jesus' victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.

Paragraph 540

540. Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him.244 This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning."245 By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.

Paragraph 566

566. The temptation in the desert shows Jesus, the humble Messiah, who triumphs over Satan by his total adherence to the plan of salvation willed by the Father.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What is the role of God’s people in promoting social justice, according to Amos 5:24?

How is God’s sovereignty portrayed amidst the chaos in Lamentations 2:8-9?

How important is the reorganization of the Jerusalem temple described in 2 Maccabees 10:1-9?

What does Wisdom 8:7 teach us about wisdom as a source of virtue and honor?

Love and friendship: the importance of relationships in life (Ecc 4:9-12)

What is the message of redemption present in the book of Abdias, specifically in Abdias 1:17?

What was David’s reaction after sinning with Bathsheba, and how can we learn from his humility and quest for restoration?

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