Question About the Holy Spirit and the Temptation of Jesus


In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, it states that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. All three Gospels point out the involvement of the Holy Spirit in leading Christ to be tempted. Nothing further is stated about the involvement of the Holy Spirit.

Why is it noteworthy that the Holy Spirit led Him into the desert, and did the Holy Spirit remain with Him throughout his temptation? What is the significance of this detail being repeated three times with no discussion of the direct involvement of the Spirit? Did the Spirit remain with him once he arrived in the Desert?

This detail seems to be important, or am I just missing the forest by being distracted by a tree?


I think the Holy Spirit stayed with him… how could they be separated??? I think it’s repeated in each of the three gospels because those three sort of mirror each other anyway. In other words, it’s not special that the event was repeated three times, other events were told in each of those Synoptic gospels…


We could really get into a discussion on Theometry with this. As God the Holy Spirit does not exist in time or space the idea of Him being in one place as opposed to another is just the way we with our limited human brains visualize His movements. Certainly the Holy Spirit was there, as He is everywhere that exists materially and spiritually the question should be did He act upon Jesus at this or that time?


The purpose of the encounter is to remind us that Jesus was fully human as well as fully God. That his temptation was not less difficult to him than it is to us when we are tempted. He received the same kind of grace we would receive, and had the same options and desires that we get. It wasn’t some supernatural ability that only he had to overcome, otherwise it would have been meaningless. So was the Holy Spirit with him? In the same way he is with us… offering grace to the man to help him to grow towards God and not away from him. Jesus was never separate from that relationship, unlike we often can be. When we say he never sinned, that’s what that means… where as you and I might sin and injure or even close off that channel of grace, Jesus was always trying to do the Father’s will, even in the desert.

In other words, it was God’s will that Jesus go off to pray and he was open to the prompting of that Spirit.


Thank you for the three responses. They raise good points, and point out how myopic perspective is based on having limited experience with scripture. I have a lot to learn.


Jesus has a human body and a human soul.

The Holy Spirit abides in Jesus’ soul as Holy Spirit does in ours, as in a temple. As Jesus once said, destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days. The body was referred to as a temple because the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the person’s body.

So the Holy Spirit inspired(led) Jesus to go into the desert. He also inspires us at various times if we listen to him in our very own soul. He will remain with us as long as we do not make him leave thru unholy moments. And so too he was with Jesus permanently abiding in his soul.


The Holy Spirit does more than Just abide within Jesus as it does within us.

The Holy Spirit proceeds from Jesus in union with the Father. That is what we say in the creed.

The passage in the Bible more clearly says that Jesus was led into the desert to be tested by Satan rather than tempted.


Jesus is like to us in all things except sin. He is a man too. To say other is to say he is only God precluding him from being a man. That means his soul is human not divine. Therefore the Holy Spirit abides in his human soul as it does our human soul.

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Creed(s) do not say proceeds from the Father and Jesus.

In Mark 1:12 it says,

Immediately afterwards the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan.


Jesus is the Son.



Yes, but you have to be careful in how you speak of when Jesus came to be. The Son has always existed. Jesus however, was incarnate. His body did not exist before… His manhood did not exist before… That’s an important distinction. It changes the way things are expressed. In a way, you could say yes, the Son has always been, but the Man, Jesus, came into being when he was conceived in Mary’s womb.

It changes the entire theology if you try to say that Jesus, fully God and fully man existed from the beginning of time. If he did, then the incarnation meant nothing.




The passage doesn’t say anything about the Holy Spirit leaving, only that He led him :wink:


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