Our scripture this week is Mark 1:9-13, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.” Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving him.
Why would God send His Son into the wilderness to be “tempted by Satan”? (v 13). I don’t think Jesus needed to prove anything to God, but perhaps Satan (and people) needed to see for themselves what He was all about. Jesus was human in every way and this was the same kind of testing humans faced from worldly issues.
In other accounts of this event, specifically Matthew 4:1-11, we hear Satan challenging Jesus over hunger, power and God’s care. These are all things we encounter on a regular basis and without spiritual strength, we may fall into the trap! God wanted to teach us that through faith we can stand against the evil of the world.
God was with Jesus during His testing and He is with us as well. There are difficult issues ahead, and there always will be. We are not promised an easy time and the pitfalls of sin are always there, but we can count on our Heavenly Father to be there, too.
Gracious God, we are weak when we try to do it alone, but strong when our hope is in You. May our faith show others the joy of a relationship with You. Amen.