PMT 2014-076b By Don Strickland
Mark 1:9-13 (NIV): At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. ((Mark 1:9-13, NIV)
Because of the separation of the paragraphs between verses 11 and 12, a point here may be lost upon the reader. In v10, the Spirit descends upon Jesus. In v11, God announces that Jesus is His beloved Son and He is pleased with Jesus. What happens next? We are told that, “At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert.” God loved and was pleased with His Son, and so He had the Spirit (note: this was a divinely directed excursion) lead Jesus to a harsh place where He would be without food for 40 days, and then undergo multiple temptations by Satan himself.
Does that sound like what a father who loved and was pleased with his son would do?
Knowingly sending one’s son into those type of circumstances would seemingly be showing a lack of love and pleasure toward him. However, this experience was a part of Christ’s purpose on earth by fulfilling the Law of Moses (obedience) and identifying with our infirmities (hunger and temptation).
We might also be divinely led into the desert of temptation and suffering. And if we do find ourselves
there, it does not mean that we have done something wrong or are out of God’s will. It does mean that we have an opportunity to learn, grow, and glorify God by doing His will in a tough situation. And when we come through that trial and testing, having received God’s grace and comfort, we are then in a position to help others who find themselves in a similar situation (2Cor 1.3ff).
In that context, it is also interesting to note that last part of v13, “He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Jesus was in a dangerous place, but the angels attended Him. Even in such a desolate and dangerous place, God’s protection was still there.