We could think of the wild beasts and angels as opposing forces. The wild beasts could be understood as putting Jesus’ relationship with God to the test, enticing him to put himself rather than God at the centre of his life. The angels, in contrast, support Jesus in his time of struggle, giving him the strength to stand firm in the test, to withstand the onslaught.
There is some parallel between this story and our own lives. We too can find our best convictions, our deepest values, being put to the test. The values of the gospel do not sit easily with today’s competitive, self-assertive world. The pressure to compromise our values can be very strong. Indeed, we can feel very alone as Jesus must have felt very alone in the wilderness.
It is good to remember that we are not alone, any more than Jesus was alone in the wilderness. The Lord’s ministering, empowering and comforting presence is always at hand.