How should we interpret the “Temptation in the Wilderness”?
After his meeting with the Baptist, Jesus went often into the solitude of the desert where in the stillness he could search his heart, ponder his task, and listen to his inner urgings.
When he was thus by himself, his eldest brother, the Servant of the Darkness, stood at his side and sought to instill in him impure thoughts.
But Darkness could not make unclean the mind of Jesus.
Then the Elder tried to rouse false pride in his heart.
But when Jesus sensed the alien thoughts, he heard with his inner ear a distant, gentle voice saying: "Pray for him who is bound by the evil."
And Jesus, who was possessed of second sight, searched all about him for the evil spirit who inspired in him the sinful thoughts of pride.
But he saw no one, for Darkness concealed his older brother.
And then he believed the thoughts to be his own, and that the distant voice sought to warn him against such wrongful thinking. And he prayed with passion and humbleness to his Heavenly Father to forgive him for the pride that filled his mind.
But the thoughts persisted.
And again the voice said: “Pray for him who is bound by the evil!”
Jesus listened to the words, and he tried to understand them.
But he could not, for the maledictions the Elder had called down upon him oppressed his thought and hid the faint remembrance he bore in his heart of the brother who had succumbed to the power of the Darkness.
And a great fear filled Jesus, for he believed an evil spirit had possessed his body and that this prevented him from discerning the evil from the good.
And he cried: “Begone, you evil one!”
But when the thoughts persisted, he called in his distress to his Heavenly Father and cried: "Father, deliver me from him who threatens me!"
Then God drew the Darkness away from the Elder and Jesus beheld his brother’s visage, and then did there awaken in him a faint remembrance of the pledge made to his Father before he began his journeying on the Earth.
And he heard a distant, sorrowful voice saying: "My son, the path of your journeying will be strewn with stones and be covered by dust, and the human beings will give you death—death upon the cross."
From that moment Jesus knew no joy, for he bore the heaviest burden of sorrow in his heart.
And later, when a time had passed and he spoke to his disciples of the Evil One who tempts humanity to sin, some asked: “Master, tell us, did the Evil One ever tempt you?”
Then Jesus answered: “When I walked in the desert places he came and spoke to me, to rouse in my heart false pride; but I said: depart from me! For I was not able to pray for him, for I remembered not the pledge I had given my Father.”
But those who heard his words understood them not.
And they questioned him not further, for they saw that he sorrowed greatly.