Luke 4:1

And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
It is fitting that it be recorded that the first Adam was cast out of Paradise into the desert, that you may observe how the second Adam returned from the desert to Paradise…. Adam brought death through the tree. Christ brought life through the cross. Adam, naked of spiritual things, covered himself with the foliage of a tree. Christ, naked of worldly things, did not desire the trappings of the body. Adam lived in the desert. Christ lived in the desert, for he knew where he could find the lost. With their error canceled, he could recall them to Paradise…. So Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, is led into the desert for a purpose, in order to challenge the devil. If he had not fought, he would not have conquered him for me. , ...

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
He was led therefore into the wilderness, to the intent that He might provoke the devil, for if the one had not contended, the other it seems had not conquered. In a mystery, it was to deliver that Adam from exile who was cast out of Paradise into the wilderness. By way of example, it was to show us that the devil envies us, whenever we strive after better things; and that then we must use caution, lest the weakness of our minds should lose us the grace of the mystery. Hence it follows: And he was tempted of the devil. There are three things which united together conduce to the salvation of man; The Sacrament, The Wilderness, Fasting. No one who has not rightly contended receives acrown, but no one is admitted to the contest of virtue, except first being washed from the stains of all his sins, he is consecrated with the gift of heavenly grace. But mark the mystical number of days. For you remember that for forty days the waters of the deep were poured forth, and by sanctifying a fast o...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Now that number is a sacrament of our time and labor, in which under Christ's discipline we contend against the devil, for it signifies our temporal life. For the periods of years run in courses of four, but forty contains four tens. Again, those ten are completed by the number one successively advancing on to four more. This plainly shows that the fast of forty days, i.e. the humiliation of the soul, the Law and the Prophets have consecrated by Moses and Elias, the Gospel by the fast of our Lord Himself. ...
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Basil the Great

AD 379
For not by word provoking the enemy, but by His actions rousing him, He seeks the wilderness. Forthe devil delights in the wilderness, he is not wont to go into the cities, the harmony of the citizens troubles him. Or, the Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that He fasted, yet hungered not, and dared not therefore approach Him. Hence it follows: And he eat nothing in those days. He fasted indeed, to show that He who would gird Himself for struggles against temptation must be temperate and sober. But we must not however so use the flesh, that through want of food our strength should waste away, nor that by excess of mortification our understandings wax dulland heavy. Our Lord therefore once performed this work, but during this whole succeeding time He governed His body with due order, and so in like manner did Moses and Elias. But because not to suffer hunger is above the nature of man, our Lord took upon Himself the feeling of hunger, and submitted Himself as it...


AD 735
That there might be no doubt by what Spirit He was led, while the other Evangelists say, into the wilderness, Luke has purposely added, And he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. That no unclean spirit should be thought to have prevailed against Him, who being full of the Holy Spirit did whatever He wished. ...
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, having been there baptized by John a little time before, and having visibly received the Holy Spirit, whose fulness He had already obtained invisibly in the first instant of His conception.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
s25,26.—But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. Three years and six months—This does not appear in the Old Testatment, but Jesus, as God, knew it, and revealed it to S. James , Ep. v. x7, for as to what is said in 1 Kings 18:1, "The word of the Lord came to Elias, in the third year, saying, Go and show thyself to Ahab that I may give rain upon the face of the earth." This third year is not to be taken from the beginning of the drought, but as from the sojourn of Elias in Sarepta. In all the land—Israel and the neighbouring region, such as Sidon, and Sarepta, where this widow was. The sense is that, as Elias, in the time of the famine, procured food for no Israelite, but only for the widow of Sarepta, a Sidonian, a Gentile, and a foreigner, bec...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
“He was led, therefore,” it says, “in the Spirit in the wilderness forty days, being tempted of the devil.” What is the meaning of the word led? It signifies not so much that he was led there as that he dwelt and continued there…. He dwelt therefore in the wilderness in the Spirit, that is, spiritually. He fasted, granting no food whatsoever to the necessities of the body. I imagine someone may immediately object to this: And what harm, then, did it do Jesus to dwell in cities constantly? And in what way could it benefit him to choose to inhabit the wilderness? He did not lack one good thing. And why, too, did he fast also? Why was it necessary for him to labor? He does not know what it means to have a depraved desire. For we adopt the practice of fasting as a very useful expedient, by which we kill pleasure and attack the law of sin that is in our bodies and completely destroy those emotions which lead on to fleshly lust. But why did Christ need to fast? The Father slays the sin in th...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
God said in times past, My Spirit shall not always abide in men, for that they are flesh. But now that we have been enriched with the gift of regeneration by water and the Spirit, we are become partakers of the Divine nature by participation of the Holy Spirit. But the first-born among many brethren first received the Spirit, who Himself also is the giver of the Spirit, that we through Him might also receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. Behold, He is among the wrestlers, who as God awards the prizes. He is among the crowned, who crowns the heads of the saints. Or, our earthly body is nourished by earthly food, but the reasonable soul is strengthened by the Divine Word, to the right ordering of the spirit. ...

Ephrem The Syrian

AD 373
Why didn’t Satan tempt him before his thirtieth year? He tempted Jesus because a definite sign of Christ’s divinity had not yet been given from heaven. He appeared modest like others, and he had not received any obvious homage in the presence of his people. Satan refrained from tempting him until the beginning of this event. When he heard, “Now, behold the Lamb of God is coming,” and “This is he who takes away the sins of the world,” Satan was astonished. Yet he waited until Jesus was baptized to see if he would be baptized as if he needed to be baptized. Then he saw the splendor of the light that appeared on the water, the voice that came from heaven. Then Satan knew that he who fulfills every need had gone down into the water and that he had not come to baptism as if he needed to be baptized. Satan reflected and said to himself, “As long as I have not tested him by combat through temptation I will not be able to identify him.” But it was not fitting that the Benefactor should resist ...

Greek Expositor

AD 1000
But if we order our lives according to our own will, how was He led about unwillingly? Those words then, He was led by the Spirit, have some meaning of this kind: He led of His own accord that kind of life, that He might present an opportunity to the tempter.
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Our enemy was however unable to shake the purpose of the Mediator between God and men. For He condescended to be tempted outwardly, yet so that His soul inwardly, resting in its divinity, remained unshaken.
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Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
Virtue then is not sustained by bread, nor by flesh does the soul keep itself in health and vigor, but by other banquets than these is the heavenly life fostered, and increased. The nourishment of tile good man is chastity, his bread, wisdom, his herbs, justice, his drink, freedom from passion, his delight, to be rightly wise. ...
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Gregory the Theologian

AD 390
He fasted in truth forty days, eating nothing. (For He was God.) But we regulate our fasting according to our strength, although the zeal of some persuades them to fast beyond what they are able. For the body nourishes not our immaterial nature.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
But very wisely, He exceeded not their number of days, lest indeed He should bethought to have come in appearance only, and not to have really received the flesh, or lest the flesh should seem to be something beyond human nature.
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
By and by the Lord Himself consecrated His own baptism (and, in His own, that of all) by fasts;
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Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
As if He said, Not by bread alone is human nature sustained, but the word of God is sufficient to support the whole nature of man. Such was the food of the Israelites when they gathered manna during the space of forty, years, and when they delighted in the taking of quails. By the Divine counsel Elias had the crows to entertain him; Elisha feel his companions on the herbs of the field. ...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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