There in those lengthy hot days of desert conversation and communion with God, Jesus settled once and for all the principles to which his life was committed. Yet those principles to which his life was committed would be attacked over and over again. Listen carefully to this insightful perspective from preacher/professor George Buttrick:
On the journey before him, “Jesus would have to reaffirm his determination time and again not to let his concern for people’s physical needs, their poverty and their sickness, and their desire for immediate material help, to swerve him from a greater ministry of their empty souls.”
Jesus would have to keep repeating to himself, “Do not labor for food which spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” (Jn. 6:27) Jesus would have to resist more than once the fierce pressure of nationalistic desire imposed by those like the Zealots who would have liked “to take him, and force him to be King.” (Jn. 6:15)
Jesus would also have to regularly resist the voice in his head, which was perhaps the greatest temptation, telling him to just use his position of heavenly power as a shield against final destruction. On the very last night in Gethsemane that temptation had to be wrestled with in sheer agony.
The struggle did not end in the wilderness. The attack of the adversary did not stop. The temptation to veer off course was constant. The good news - Jesus settled concretely once and for all the principles to which his life would be committed, with God’s help, let all of us do the same.