“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them: and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him; and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” – Matt. iv. 1-11.
I ask you to think how much God must know, of which we know nothing. Think what an abyss of truth was our Lord, out of Whose divine darkness, through that revealing countenance, that uplifting voice, those hands Whose tenderness has made us great, broke all holy radiations of human significance. Think of His understanding, imagination, heart, in which lay the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Must He not have known, felt, imagined, rejoiced in things that would not be told in human words, could not be understood by human hearts? Was He not always bringing forth out of the light inaccessible? Was not His very human form a veil hung over the face of the truth that, even in part by dimming the effulgence of the glory, it might reveal? What could be conveyed must be thus conveyed: an infinite More must lie behind.
And even of those things that might be partially revealed to men, could He talk to his Father and talk to His disciples in altogether the same forms, in altogether the same words?
Yet, would what He said to God on the mountain-tops, in the dim twilight or the gray dawn, never be such that his disciples could have understood it?–no more than the people, when the voice of God spoke to Hm from heaven, could distinguish that voice from the inarticulate thunderings of the element?
There is no attempt made to convey to us even the substance of the battle of those forty days. Such a conflict of spirit as for forty days absorbed all the human necessities of The Man in the cares of the Godhead could not be in itself intelligible to us, and therefore could not take any form of which we could lay hold. It is not till the end of those forty days that the divine event begins to dawn out from the sacred depths of the eternal thought, becomes human enough to be made to appear, admits of utterance, becomes capable of being spoken in human forms to the ears of men, though yet only in a dark saying, which he that hath ears to hear may hear, and he that hath a heart to understand may understand. For the mystery is not left behind, nor can the speech be yet clear unto men.