Mark 1:40-45

In the Our Father prayer we always ask not to be tempted and deliver us from all evil.  All of us as humans experience temptations.  But how is it possible that the Son of God has been tempted by Satan?

 The Spirit who had descended, drives Jesus out into the desert wilderness. We might think of his baptism as a commissioning and his temptation as a strengthening, toughening, hardening experience.

Satan is a Hebrew word that was brought into Greek and English by transliteration. Satan sounds much the same in all three languages, but we can best ascertain its meaning by looking at the Hebrew. In Hebrew, satan means adversary or opponent or enemy. Because of its usage in the Old Testament, it came to mean “the demonic archenemy of God”.

Forty is a number often associated with intense spiritual experiences. God caused it to rain for forty days and forty nights to cleanse the earth (Genesis 7:12). The Israelites were in the wilderness forty years. Moses spent forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:18; 34:28), and Elijah journeyed forty days and forty nights to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).

The Greek word peirazo can mean tempt or test. To tempt is to entice a person to do what is wrong; to test is to give a person the opportunity to choose what is right. Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark does not report the outcome of the temptation.

At the very beginning of this Gospel, John was the preacher, and now Jesus takes his place,“preaching the Good News  of the Kingdom of God, and saying,‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News’”. Mark began this Gospel with these words.


~Fr. Chesco