Why did Jesus fast for 40 days in preparation for the devil's temptation?


Matthew 4:2

KJV - 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 14 2014 Water lilies Katrice Johnson

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Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
From what I have read, 40 days is about the maximum amount of time a human body can survive without food provided they have water. At around 45 days death occurs. I'm sure there are a lot of variables but I believe this is the general consensus. I also understand that near starvation a person will experience hallucinations, convulsions, etc. From this we know that the physical body of Christ was at the point of dying from starvation. 

We know from the previous chapter that Christ had just been baptized by John. In Luke's account verse 4:1 states: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness," The word led suggests taking hold of, accompanying, bringing to a destination. Primary Biblical usage of the word tempt is: put to the test, to see if a thing can be done. 

Many say this occurred and was documented as an example we should employ in resisting temptation. While this is true, I personally I believe it was primarily for additional authentication and verification as to who Jesus Christ actually is. Considering he was God incarnate, the creator and the lamb slain from the foundation of the world failure was not possible. I do not for one second believe or imagine the Father and Holy Spirit were in heaven wringing their hands wondering if Jesus would make the grade.

According to scripture, The Lord Jesus and Satan were the only two present. After the devil tells Christ to cast himself down in Matthew 4:6, The Lord responds in v. 7 "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Who was Satan tempting/testing? The Lord his God. By comparing this account with the one found in the book of Job, Satan went before God and had to be granted permission to test Job. There is no such account here. Why? Satan was speaking to God in human flesh!

Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." 

One other side note, the number forty is significant in that it represents testing throughout the Bible. Here are a few.

Genesis 7: 4 It rained forty days and forty nights.

Moses was on the mount 40 days and nights and received the law. Exodus 24:18.

Moses was on the mount 40 days after the Israelites worshiped the golden calf. Deuteronomy 9:18-25 

The Israelites spied out the promised land for 40 days Numbers 14:34 and were punished 1 year per day for their disbelief (40 years) Numbers 32:13.

As Jonah entered Nineveh he said the city would be overthrown in 40 days. Jonah 3:4.
Forty days Jesus was seen of His disciples, speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, Acts 1:2.

May 16 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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