The work of the Trinity in the life of Christ Part 3: The Temptation

The Temptation was a significant event in the life of Jesus, and could be considered his “initiation” into his ministry after he committed to do the work of his Father through the Baptism.  Jesus did not go through this alone. He relied on God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, as well as the ministry of angels throughout this 40-day period.

Assuming Jesus depended on the city for his livelihood as a carpenter, city life offered little-to-no solitude for Jesus to endure the 40-days of prayer, fasting and trials under the Temptation. James Jeffers notes that in the Greco-Roman city, “Privacy was virtually impossible, and the sounds of the city often made a good night’s sleep difficult.”[1] So, the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out into the wilderness.

Mark used the Greek word ekballo in phrasing how the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out. This word would have had to have been used very deliberately. Ekballo, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, means “to eject (lit. or fig.):–bring forth, cast (forth, out), drive (out), expel, leave, pluck (pull, take, thrust) out, put forth (out), send away (forth, out).”

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines Ekballo a little more extensively, and adds to the definition, “the notion of violence…be deprived of the power and influence he exercises in the world…to command or cause one to depart in haste…to cause a thing to move straight on its intended goal.”

Regarding the significance of the word in Mark’s narrative of the Temptation, one can glean a greater understanding of the manner in which the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out. In other words, the Holy Spirit did not necessary send Jesus to be tempted “violently,” but that it was at this time the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out to do his ministry. The temptation was Jesus’ inaugural assignment for his earthly ministry. His ministry overall was spiritually violent and it deprived him of his complete power over the world.

Gives new meaning to those who say, “Jesus was nonviolent.”

The Bible does not fully record the intention of the Temptation. However, gleaning from the text, one could say that a purpose was for Jesus to undergo a series of trials that would have tested Him before embarking on his ministry; i.e., that the ultimate sacrifice cannot be blemished, therefore, if Jesus cannot withstand these temptations, he would have to stop his ministry before it starts. However, if he withstood these particular tests, he can withstand any further temptations during the next three years that the enemy would sling. In addition, Jesus prepared for the next three years of his ministry through prayer, fasting and solitude.

As the Son of God and servant of Yahweh,[4] Jesus acted in submission, in communication and in need of help from God the Father and from angels to endure this period of testing. It is in passages such as the Temptation that we can see the true father-son relationship between Jesus and his (our) ‘Abba.’

[2] Thayer, Joseph, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. (accessed Jan. 28, 2013).

[3] Blomberg,Craig, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels ( IVP Academic, 2007), 87-88.

[4] House,H. Wayne, Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament (Zondervan1981), 20-21.

7 thoughts on “The work of the Trinity in the life of Christ Part 3: The Temptation

  1. Pingback: The work of the Trinity in the life of Christ part 5: Miracles | A Closer Look

  2. Pingback: The Work of the Trinity in the Life of Christ Part 8: Exorcisms | A Closer Look

  3. trotter387

    Interesting points – Mark’s account is viewed as the more assertive of the Gospels because of his dynamic style of writing.

    Just to set the record straight Jesus grew up in rural Galilee therefore his trade would not have been based in City life. His attention to to the Bible in his development also informs us that he found the time to learn about Yahweh.

    Then we note that Yahweh is God Almighty who doesn’t share that status with anyone.

    This account provides no evidence of the trinity in fact to the contrary it emphasises the separateness of the three.

    I really enjoy your research and your writing but this time felt I had to comment

    Liked by 1 person

      1. trotter387

        I recognise the divinity of Christ and clearly see the Holy Spirit in action but as you say I see them as separate – I read Alexander Hislops the Two Babylons and also the history of the Trinity in the Catholic Faith which explained the doctrine had to be adopted as part of the 4th century AD expansion of the Church.

        It is also a concern that the Church adopted the immortality of the soul for similar reasons when the early Christians stood up against the Greek Philosophy.

        There are many teachings I have found that stem from a source outside the scripture. However it is important to discuss these things and review the evidence whenever we can.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. jmdansville

    That’s interesting. I had never heard those things before. I agree, it is important to discuss these things and review the evidence whenever we can.


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