“Let us first mark in this passage, the power and unwearied malice of the devil. That old serpent who tempted Adam to sin in Paradise, was not afraid to assault the second Adam, the Son of God.
Whether he understood that Jesus was ‘God manifest in the flesh’ may perhaps be doubted. But that he saw in Jesus One who had come into the world to overthrow his kingdom, is clear and plain.
He had seen what happened at our Lord’s baptism. He had heard the marvellous words from heaven. He felt that the great Friend of man was come, and that his own dominion was in peril.
The Redeemer had come. The prison door was about to be thrown open. The lawful captives were about to be set free. All this, we need not doubt, Satan saw, and resolved to fight for his own.
The prince of this world would not give way to the Prince of peace without a mighty struggle.
He had overcome the first Adam in the garden of Eden;—why should be not overcome the second Adam in the wilderness? He had spoiled man once of Paradise;—why should he not spoil him of the kingdom of God?”
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, Vol. 1 (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1879), 108. Ryle is commenting on Luke 4:1-13.