READY FOR THE CHALLENGE
Loving Father, in my busy world, I long to hear Your voice. Speak to me through Your Word today.
Read Mark 1:9–13
The Baptism and Testing of Jesus
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just 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 wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
- Mark 1:13 The Greek for tempted can also mean tested.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of a time when you faced a new challenge. What helped you to cope? What challenges are facing you today?
When you start a new job or a new role, there is often a time of preparation and induction. Before His public ministry begins, Jesus is sent by the Spirit for a time of testing (12). Matthew and Luke give us more details about some of the tests He faced (Matthew 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13). But here Mark is content to tell us that He spent 40 days in the wilderness, being tempted by Satan. It seems that it was somehow necessary for Jesus to recognize His priorities before His ministry could begin in earnest.
In His baptism Jesus received the resources to face this time of testing. Heaven meets earth as the Holy Spirit descends like a dove on Jesus and a voice from heaven tells Him that He is God’s beloved Son (11). Jesus faced the test of the wilderness reassured, equipped, and ready. And notice, God’s ‘angels attended Him’ (13).
Amazing as it may be, when we become Christians, we are adopted into His family and receive the same Holy Spirit: ‘Because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father”’ (Galatians 4:6, NLT).
Are you currently facing a time of testing? How are you responding? Caving to temptation? Calling out to Abba Father for strength? Spend some time in His presence today.
Father, like most people, I don’t like tests. But I know I need strengthening with courage, so teach me as You will for my good and growth.