Apart from the dramatic story of His birth, His amazing, official blessing in the Temple [Luke 2:22-35], and one fascinating record from His childhood [vv 42-49], Yahshua lived in obscurity until He was 30 years old. He was formally ‘presented’ to His world by John the Baptist [John 1:29]. Immediately after His baptism the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit came down upon Him, and Yahweh openly acknowledged Him. “This is my beloved Son,” He said, “in whom I am well pleased” [Matthew 3:13-17]. It was a thrilling, public event!
Surely, we could be forgiven for thinking this was the platform for Yahshua’s launch into His messianic mission! Apparently not, since the Holy Spirit led Him not to the needy crowds, but into the wilderness, and a 40-day fast accompanied by severe trial and testing [Matthew 4:1]. Have you noticed, in your own life, this seems to be a divine principle - a time of immense blessing often being followed by a time of serious testing and/or deprivation? It’s not a sign of Yahweh’s displeasure, but a further outworking of His purpose.
Almost six weeks after Yahshua’s baptism with its breath-taking statement from His Father, the Messiah was weak, His stomach empty. I imagine it was something of an understatement to say that, after so long without food, Yahshua was hungry [Matthew 4:2]! I wonder what He was thinking, how He was feeling. There are only three of Satan’s temptations recorded, but it’s very interesting that the first two begin, “If you are the Son of Yahweh…” [4:3]. Of course Yahshua could have proved Who He was, but He was unmoved! His knowledge of the scriptures gave Him wisdom to counteract the challenge by clearly stating other commands [4:3-7]. He refused to engage in discussion.
I’m always sobered by the fact that Yahshua didn’t dispute Satan’s power to give Him the world [4:8]; he has ruled here since the fall in Eden. Yahshua’s mission being to redeem the world back for His Father, Satan offered an easy option - worship me! No pain, no trauma, no sacrifice, just worship. “Go away,” said Yahshua, “I will only worship and serve My Father” [cited from 4:10]! Beware the easy option, there will always be a hidden cost!