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Philip Yancey, in his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, suggests that each temptation parallels the expectation of 1st century culture for the coming Messiah:

A People’s Messiah could feed the multitudes

A man who would be King not just of Israel but of the whole world

A King who is rooted in the Law, would find his home at the place of sacrifice

Ironically, Jesus, ultimately, did play each of these roles. Not as a result of temptation, but as a result of being obedient to God

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