I have been wondering about this. Jesus knew that He was the Son of God, but did He recognize the breath of His mission before He spent “40 days” in the desert alone with God?
Priests usually go on retreat for a time during their seminary training, and I would guess, just before their ordination. It seems a good plan – especially before ordination. What is calling calling the person to do? Is this the path that God has for him? So it seems just natural that Jesus would do the same.
Being alone with God – what is that like? I spend time alone with the Lord in the Adoration Chapel, but that is just an hour a week. What if I had to spend days, silent, waiting for the Lord to speak with me? No books, no cell phone, nothing that would remind me of my ordinary life – just me, waiting for God.
I wonder, too, if having learned what God was expecting of Him, especially the death on a cross, did Jesus struggle with that? Did He wonder if He could do it? Did it frighten Him or make Him want to walk away?
We are told that Jesus was tempted by the devil during that time – perhaps those temptations were trying to take Him away from the path which God set out for Him. Those temptations pointed to a different way of accomplishing the task before Him, ways that were not God’s ways. I imagine that Jesus’ human will struggled mightily with the task God set for Him. It would be daunting for anyone, especially for me – if I knew the future. I am not sure that I would choose as Jesus did – to choose the Cross and the way that led to it.