Denney makes an interesting observation concerning the Temptation of Christ: it was not just an event which took place at the outset of his ministry, rather it framed his ministry:
It does not matter that the temptations which are here described actually assailed Jesus at later stages in His life. Of course they did. They are the temptations of the Christ, and they not only assailed Him at particular moments, some of which we can still identify (Matt. 16:22 f.; John 6:15), they must in some way have haunted Him incessantly. But they were present to His mind from the outset of His career; that is the very meaning of the temptation story, standing where it stands. The Christ sees the two paths that lie before Him, and He chooses at the outset, in spiritual conflict, that which He knows will set Him in irreconcilable antagonism to the hopes and expectations of those to whom He is to appeal.
James Denney, The Death of Christ: Its Place and Interpretation in the New Testament (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1902), 17. What then does that do to him:
A soul which sees its vocation shadowed out in the Servant of the Lord, which is driven of the Spirit into the wilderness to face the dreadful alternatives raised by that vocation, and which takes the side which Jesus took in conflict with the enemy, does not enter on its life-work with any superficial illusions: it has looked Satan and all he can do in the face; it is prepared for conflict; it may shrink from death, when death confronts it in the path of its vocation, as hideous and unnatural, but it cannot be startled by it as by an unthought of, unfamiliar thing. The possibility, at least, of a tragic issue to His work—when we remember the Servant of the Lord, far more than the possibility—belongs to the consciousness of Jesus from the first
James Denney, The Death of Christ: Its Place and Interpretation in the New Testament (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1902), 17–18.