When we think of Jesusí 40 days of temptation in the desert, I think
we view this experience as if it was for Jesusí benefit only. He had to
resist and overcome the devil. Let me suggest these 40 days might have
been for the devilís benefit as well.
The meeting between Jesus and the devil was no chance meeting. Jesus
was clearly "led by the Spirit" into the desert. His Father
wanted Him in the desert at that moment of time.
Jesus was just as much human as He was God. He needed to experience
temptation on a human level as well as on a satanic level. He needed to
overcome both in order to save us from both. So in one sense of the word,
this time of testing was for Jesusí benefit.
Yet the devil needed to learn something as well. He needed to know who
he was dealing with when it came to Jesus. He needed to know what he was
up against when he interfered with His ministry.
The devil tried to win Jesus over to his side, just as he won Adam and
Eve over. He most likely figured he could trick Jesus in the same way, but
Jesus would not be tricked. How frustrating those 40 days must have been
for the devil.
Jesus came away from these 40 days of testing stronger than ever. The
devil came away weaker than ever. He had lost a major battle This was
Jesusí first blow to the head of the devil. Thus God had a plan for the
devil in the desert as well. The plan was to show the devil that Jesus was
One last thought. The gospel writers only show us the highlights of
these 40 days. I think there was more to the time of testing than what we
read. If Jesus was indeed tested for 40 days, then for each and every one
of these 40 days He was tempted by the devil, as well as tempted by His
own human nature. He overcame both. All for us.
I conclude that these 40 days was important to both Jesus and the
devil, not just for Jesus as we might think.