Straight away God’s Spirit made Jesus go into the wilderness.
Jesus is baptised by John. The Holy Spirit comes down on Him in the form of a dove, and the Father announces, “You are my dear Son, and I am pleased with you.”
Straight away the Spirit drives Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by satan for 40 days.
After this, Jesus commences preaching all through Galilee.
Mark’s account of three separate incidents marking the beginning of Jesus’ ministry is very light in detail. He uses words like “straight away” and “immediately” to convey the sense that things are happening quickly. The coming of Jesus into the world is a catalyst that speeds everything up.
In the middle of this, Jesus goes into the desert or wilderness, driven by the Holy Spirit, in order to be tested by satan.
Being in the wilderness is no fun at all. It seems like the Lord is doing really exciting things; it’s all happening with conversions and miracles; and then nothing.
The test of the wilderness experience is this- will I stay faithful to God even when He seems distant, and there is nothing good happening?
The other gospels tell us the natures of the temptations by satan. They all come down to the enticement of making things happen by self-will rather than walking in obedience to the Father.
My worth as a follower of Jesus is not in my achievements for Him. He loves me even when I fail to perform well on Sunday morning, or when I don’t pray enough. He even continues to love me when I abandon His plans for my life.
Coming through the wilderness experience means hanging onto Jesus as if He is the most important thing in my life.
Thank you Lord for the tough times. Even though I hate them I know that you use them to take me deeper with you. Amen.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT