LogoColorTextRight.jpg                                        The Testing in the Wilderness

The passage (Luke 4:1-14) may be analyzed as follows following the pattern which occurs a number of times in the Pentateuch where there is a threefold pattern: 

A Jesus goes into the wilderness full of the holy SPIRIT (Luke 4:1a).

B There He was led in the SPIRIT for 40 days being scrutinized by Diabolos (In Matthew the Tempter) (Luke.4:1b-2).

            C Test 1 – “command this stone to be made bread” (Luke 4:3).

                        D Answer: “…It is written, man does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4).

C Test 2 – “And the Adversary led Him up to a high mountain and showed Him in an instant all the governments of the civilized world… All this authority will I give You and the glory that goes along with it: for it was surrendered to me; and I can give it to anyone I wish. If You therefore will worship me, all shall be Yours” (Luke 5:5-7).

D Answer: “…It is written, You are to worship YAHWEH your ELOHIM and serve Him” (Luke 4:8).

C Test 3 – “And he led Him to Jerusalem, and stood Him on the wing of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of ELOHIM, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, He will command His messengers concerning You, to guard You, and they will lift You on their hands, lest You strike Your foot against a stone” (Luke 4:9-11).

D Answer: “…Jesus said to him, It has been said: You shall not be putting on trial YAHWEH your ELOHIM” (Luke 4:12).

B “And after exhausting every kind of temptation Diabolos left Him until a convenient time arrived” (Luke 4:13).

A “Then Jesus returned in the power of the SPIRIT to Galilee, and His fame spread throughout all the surrounding country” (Luke 4:14)


Note that in ‘A’ Jesus goes into the wilderness full of the holy SPIRIT and in the parallel returns in the power of the SPIRIT into Galilee. In ‘B’ He is tested by the Diabolos, and in the parallel Diabolos ceases his testing. The 3 tests and the answers are the central part of the chiasmus, centring on what is important. (This threefoldness occurs in chiasmi a number of times in the Pentateuch. See for example the Balaam narratives in Numbers).