Mark 1:13 (KJV)

And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

Parallel text

Matthew 4:11 (KJV) Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

The Greek word in Scriveners Textus Receptus διακονέω diakoneó which is to wait at a table, to serve.

  1. How did the angels minister to Jesus?
  2. Why are we told about this ministry?
  • Another simple but very intelligent question. +1
    – user20490
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 0:04
  • @user20490 That's very kind, I appreciate that.
    – N.Ish
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 3:37

3 Answers 3


In Mark 1:13, the story of Jesus going into the wilderness, where he was ministered by angels is an allusion to Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-7) who was ministered by an angel and in the wilderness forty days. In Mark's Gospel, there seems to be a form of coordination of purpose between the Spirit, Satan and the angels. The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness, Satan's role seems to be to test Jesus rather than to turn him aside from his mission, while the angels are present during the temptation, ministering to Jesus. In this, the earliest of the New Testament gospels, Satan could arguably still be seen as the loyal assistant of God that he had become in Judaism, and therefore testing Jesus' faith. An exegesis of the passage does not tell us how the angels ministered to Jesus, but the original audience of the gospel, reading διακονέω as consistent with 'waiting at a table' or 'caring for' may have concluded that the angels provided sustenance to Jesus.

In copying from Mark, the author of Matthew introduced some new material attributed to the hypothetical 'Q' document, about Satan tempting Jesus, but seems to have found the presence of angels at the same time incongruous, thus delaying the presence of the angels until Satan departs. Without the presence of the angels, Matthew tells us that Jesus fasted for forty days.

1The later synoptic gospels portray Satan's intentions in tempting Jesus as clearly evil, as well as introducing the belief that Jesus actually fasted for forty days. We can not assume that the author of Mark had these things in mind.

  • thank you for that my friend. Excellent information. God bless.
    – N.Ish
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 2:49

James 1,12 says " Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Here James states that if anyone overcomes the temptation, there is a reward for him. The reward here he mentions is " the crown of life". Revelation 2:10 indicate that the Crown of Life is for those who persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation.

Jesus has endured the temptation. We see that angels did not come and help him during any of the temptations. But once when all the temptations were over and the tempter has left the place then come the angels. The arrival of angels tells the moment of approval of Jesus. The presence and ministry of the angels is a declaration of the approval / qualifying of Jesus as a winner / over-comer.

And it is apt to understand that the one who is a winner has the crown and the one who has a crown also will have some one to attend to him or serve him. The presence and mission and ministry of angels acclaims the victory of Jesus and his possession of the crown ( but in an invisible manner as a foretaste of what He will have once He finishes his Salvation Activities and regain His position in the right hand side of God (Phil 2,6-10).

It is also an assurance to any believer who overcomes the trials and temptations, in a steadfast manner, that God will send a temporary acknowledgment of his victory (in advance, here in earthly life itself in a temporary way ) that too through a super natural manner!! May God be Praised!!


Satan is a liar and deceiver and he is not a loyal assistant to God but he is a rebel. At the same time, God has total control over everything and no one can oppose God's will. God never tempts anyone, but deliver us from evil and He is our Savior. Who loves God loves his commandments. Whoever opposes evil is Satan leaving him. Who lives with God - God is with Him and helps him and bless him and God's angels are God's messengers and doers of His will. It is through Satan and man that evil came into the world and God is the one who cleaned this "mess" and made order. Seeing a cleaning lady who clean up, you do not claim that she is a participant in this dirt only because you saw her holding the garbage in her hand - but according to the fact you see she come to clean it. Just because you see her has rubbish in her hand does not mean that she is the cause of this dirt.

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