Following his baptism, the Savior wanted to be alone. He wanted to think about his baptismal covenant, his mission, and to draw closer to his Father. He traveled a short distance from Jericho to the barren mountains to the west. There he spent 40 days fasting and praying.
It often seems that when ever we make a new commitment with the Lord, the adversary goes the extra mile to tempt us.
“Naked and arid like a mountain of malediction, rising precipitously form a scorched and desert plain, and looking over the sluggish, bituminous waters of the Sodomitic sea – thus offering a sharp contrast to the smiling softness of he Mountains of Beatitudes and the limpid crystal of the Lake of Gennesareth- imagination has seen in it a fit pace to be the haunt of evil influences – a place where , the language of the prophets, the owls dwell and the satyrs dance.”
The Life of Christ, Farrar. P113.
In his wilderness setting, weakened by fasting, Jesus was tempted. The “Captain of our salvation” was “made perfect through sufferings” Heb 2:10
“In that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2: 18
Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, another thing to fall. Shakespeare,
It is the devil’s part to suggest, it is ours not to consent. St. Augustine
Sin is first by suggestion, then by delight, and lastly by consent. St. Gregory
Unless the tempting impression be felt, there is not real temptation; but unless it be acquiesced in or yielded to, there is no sin. Where then is the point in temptation at which sin begins, or at which it becomes itself sin? It is there where the evil which is presented to us begins to make a determining impression upon the heart. Ullmann
Quotes from Farrar. P 118
Note the icon painted in the dome of this Orthodox chapel. It is one of the very few depictions of the Father in the Orthodox church.
In the picture, they are confirming their doctrine that Holy Ghost is sent from the Father. This contrasts with the Catholics that believe that the Holy Ghost is sent from the Father and the Son. This difference in doctrine is one of the reasons the early Christian church became divided between the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic church. (See St. George blog)